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By Shane Stokes in Saint Brieuc, France Team-mates Chrisian Vande Velde and Danny Pate are happy...

By Shane Stokes in Saint Brieuc, France

Team-mates Chrisian Vande Velde and Danny Pate are happy with their team's Tour de France debut so far. The Garmin-Chipotle duo were among the first riders at the start line at the beginning of stage two in Auray, the pair passing the time chatting to each other in the mild conditions.

Vande Velde comes to the race after a strong Giro campaign; he wore the first pink jersey thanks to the squad's victory in the team time trial, then finished a solid 52nd overall. He is regarded as being in the best form of his career and is the protected GC rider on the team.

"Things are good so far," he stated. "The Giro was good for my morale, even if it was mostly meant as training for us.

"Here, I would really like to do what I can in the overall," he added. "Apart from that, of course hunt for stages with the team. Whether that is in setting up one of my team-mates or myself, we will see."

Former world under 23 time trial champion Danny Pate is riding the first Tour of his career and was asked about his impression thus far. "I don't know, it is still pretty early," he replied. "I haven't seen too much yet.

"There are quite a few more people than there were at the Giro," he added. "Maybe that will catch up a bit more in the days to come, because just one big day seems not so much, but when it is every day it is a lot different.

"I will just try to stay next to Christian [Vande Velde], that is what I have to do," said Pate. "If he needs a helmet or glasses I give them to him."

Vande Velde finished 31st on stage two and ended the day 19th overall, while Pate was 159th and 138th, respectively.

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