After a hectic crash-marred finale to the opening Tour de France stage, Team Sunweb brought Tom Dumoulin into position to cross the line safely with Michael Matthews taking 7th in the sprint.
As soon as the flag dropped on the opening stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France, an attack of three riders were immediately allowed clear, with the trio opening up a solid three minute advantage over the peloton. Team Sunweb remained with Tom Dumoulin in the peloton throughout the 201 kilometre stage between Noirmoutier-En-L’Ïle and Fontenay-Le-Comte, keeping him safe and out of trouble for the stage’s entirety.
Just as the break were about to be caught heading into the final 10 kilometres, a crash in peloton saw a large group of riders hit the deck creating splits in the bunch with some GC riders losing time. Team Sunweb were positioned ahead of the crash and managed to stay safe heading towards the final. With Tom Dumoulin safely positioned to cross the finish line without losing any time, Michael Matthews came forward to contest the sprint. He finished the day in 7th place with Tom Dumoulin also crossing the line with the same time as the winner.
After the stage Michael said: “I’m happy to get through the stage safe with Tom also safe across the line. I wasn’t sure what was happening behind but I heard from the guys that there were a lot of crashes and carnage so I’m glad we were at the front and out of trouble. I felt good in the sprint, my bike handling was good, as was my position. The team is in good shape which gives us good confidence for the upcoming days.”
Tom added: “Today was ok for the first day. I managed to stay out of trouble thanks to the guys, so for us it’s a positive day. Tomorrow we will do the same, hopefully we can sprint with Michael and also get me home safe again before we look to the TTT.”
Team Sunweb coach Arthur van Dongen said: “It was a long and relatively easy stage today with crashes causing quite a hectic final. For us it was a good day, we are happy to get through safe and out of trouble. Our goal is the GC and we stayed safe without losing any time which is good.”