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Tour de France 2017: Stage 1

Today is the day! The Tour de France starts in Düsseldorf, Germany, this afternoon with a 14-kilometre time trial – in the rain. 

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Tour de France stage 1 race preview

Tour de France stage 1 time trial start times

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Welcome to the 2017 Tour de France! We open things this afternoon with a time trial along the Rhine River in Düsseldorf, Germany. But until the first rider actually rolls down the ramp, let’s take a look at everything that is going on.

Unfortunately, the weather is not helping things today. We have had showers since last night, and that is supposed to continue all day. Rain and 15°C (59°F) to 17°C (62°F). Let us just hope this makes the times today a little slower and we don’t have any crashes.

Katusha's Tony Martin, the World and German time trial champion, is obviously a top favourite today, and he would dearly love to take yellow in his homeland.

On Facebook, he said, "Tour start in Germany! I am happy to be part of it and proud of what we have accomplished in the last years. The Tour starts in Germany and it is the most important cycling event in the world. German cyclists enjoy a very good reputation. We have achieved major successes and many young pros have moved up to the highest level. And: the fans are still the best."

Tony Martin also said, he expects the stage "to be decided by seconds. The distance is relatively short. I am in good form and ready to fight for the yellow jersey. A victory in front of my homeland public would of course be unbelievable. I am happy that it is finally starting."

Richie Porte and Chris Froome are usually friends -- but not when racing against each other. They are still friends, even though Porte wasn't real happy with Froome at the Dauphine. 

 

Elie Gisbert (Fortuneo-Oscaro), the youngest rider in the race, is also the first to take off this afternoon at 15:15 CET. Last, of course, is defending champion Chris Froome (Sky) at 18:32. You can find all the start times here. 

 

We hear that the first fans have already taken their places along the course. Well-equipped with umbrellas, raincoats and chairs.

 

We mentioned Team Fortuneo-Oscaro earlier. Never heard of them? Up until yesterday you knew them as Fortuneo-Vital Concept. Today they have introduced their new co-sponsor. 

 

RT @RSinkeldam: Last prep done for #TDF2017 today at 16:50h I will start my #sufferfest #excited https://t.co/eFNCkTDQpf

@TeamSunweb Sat, 1st Jul 2017 10:32:24

Illness and injuries have plagued Dimension Data this year, but they have still brought in 20 wins so far, with Edvald Boasson Hagen responsible for 8 of them. 

Mark Renshaw broke his ankle this spring and Mark Cavendish has suffered from Epstein-Barr virus. No one really knows how things wlll go at the Tour, so as Renshaw says, the team has "nothing to lose" at the race.

 

On and off rain in Dusseldorf. It might not be chucking it down when the riders are out there, but there's likely to be damp roads. #LeTour

@SadhbhOS Sat, 1st Jul 2017 10:37:31

It is hard to believe but Taylor Phinney is making his Tour de France debut today. What does the American expect? He is not real sure, admitting “I've not had the perfect season so far.”

You can read the whole Q and A here.

This is far from being the only race on tap today! Stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile has already started. It started yesterday with a team time trial, which you can read about here.

It seems to be not actually raining at the moment, but everything is still wet and the sky still quite dark. We hope that the rain is over but sincerely doubt it.

 

Our Sadhbh O'Shea gives us a video look at today's course. Take a peek at it! 

 

Who do you think will win or do well in the Tour this year? Sadhbh O'Shea discusses 10 riders to keep an eye on, on our Youtube channel.

You are subscribed to that Youtube channel, yes?

 

#TDF2017 @AndreGreipel is very excited that the Tour starts in #Duesseldorf! https://t.co/O0lY2G07Gl #TDFdus https://t.co/dnniaHlg02

@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 1st Jul 2017 12:22:39

Chris Froome is still the man to beat in the Tour de France, but for how much longer? Former TdF winner Cadel Evans thinks his countryman Richie Porte might be a big winner in coming years.

 

Half an hour until things start. Are you ready????

 

On this short course, all the riders will go off at one-minute intervals. 

 

You will probably not be greatly surprised to learn that it is still very wet in Düsseldorf.

 

Interestingly enough, German TV broadcaster ARD says there are three riders who might win the race: Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana and Richie Porte. No Alberto Contador......

 

Promptly in time for the first rider, the rain has stopped!

 

Our first rider is underway! And yes, it is raining again.

 

Gesbert is not only the first rider off, and the youngest rider in the field, but is also celebrating his 22d birthday today. What a day!

 

I am handing off to Steve Farrand, who will bring you all around this time trial course safely until we have our winner!

 

As Gesbert carefully tkes the wet corners, Nacer Bouhanni stats his ride.

 

With the road wet with rain and covered with road markings, the ten corners will be slippy and dangerous for anyone who takes too many risks. We can expect some crashes.  

There huge crowds along the14km TT route but they are also getting wet today as they cheer the riders.

Bouhanni is not taking any risks out on the course. He takes a central line and avoids the water in the road.

There is an 8.1km intermediate time point which wil give a good indication of who is fastest.

 

Bouhanni is losing a lot of time on the corners. He slowed considerably to go through a double corner.

Cyclingnews Edior in Chief and reporters Barry Ryan and Sadhbh O'Shea are at the start/finish area in Dusseldorf, chasing news and interviews.

 

Daniel sent this image from the Team Sky bus, showing the bikes ready for action.

 

 

Elie Gesbert (Team Fortuneo - Oscaro) was the first to start and the first to finish.

 

He set a time of 17:24.

Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) is faster and stops the clock in 16:36.

Luke Rowe is the first rider off for Team Sky. The Welshman will give vital indications to his teammates on the conditions afterwards.

Here comes Dutch veteran Laurens ten Dam. The Team Sunweb rider sets 17:07.

 

Colbrelli remains the fastest so far in 16:36.

But here is Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal). He sets 16:36 too.

Thanks to the hundredths of seconds, Colbrelli is slightly faster and so remains the fastest so far.

Nate Brown (Cannondale-Drapac) is the first US rider in action. He set a time of 17:10.

 

We can expect him to go in breakaways later in the race.

#TDF2017 It took @Tim_Wellens 16'36" to finish the TT, the same time as Sonny Colbrelli who was just a bit faster and has the best time.

@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 1st Jul 2017 13:42:30

Here comes Grivko. He's fast!

The Astana riders sets a time of 15:43 after taking lots of risks in the wet.

#TDF2017 @BouhanniNacer en termine en 18'26". https://t.co/OVdJEE6TDQ

@TeamCOFIDIS Sat, 1st Jul 2017 13:46:53

Race judges have corrected Grivko's time. His correct time is 16:21. He remains the fastest.

Crash!

Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo) goes down and slides in the rain after losing his front wheel.

 

He quickly gets up and is okay but his pride has taken a blow.

 

The crash will also be a blow to his hopes of a good tine and so a shot at taking the yellow jersey in the expected stage 2 sprint.

Lotto-Jumbo also a skating squad, Groenewegen tries both cycling and skating! Slip sliding into the barriers. No hurt.

@renovandael Sat, 1st Jul 2017 13:53:36

39 riders are making their Tour de France debut. They will no doubt be excited and nervous today.

 

Next off is Daniele Bennati, one of the 18 Italians in action this year. He will be the road captain for Movistar and play a key role for Nairo Quintana. 

 

Bennati is a good time triallist and so we'll see what he can do today.

At the Bora bus, Peter Sagan is on the rollers for his warm-up. Will he take some risks and try and set a fast time and stay within shot of the yellow jersey?

 

We'll find out soon. 

Niklas Arndt (Sunweb) is the new fastest time in 16:20.

You can take a flyover look at today's course with our preview. All other stages on our YouTube channel #LeTour https://t.co/s1kjAyaX3L

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 1st Jul 2017 13:59:41

Riders are coming thick and fast after starting at one-minute intervals. 

 

Several riders are catching their minute man as they go for a fast time.

 

DEspite the rain and the dangers of crashing, Grivko rode at an average speed of 51.376 km/h. That's pretty fast!

Bora has opted to send off Rafa Majka early, perhaps hoping to take advantage of the weather before the expected heavy rain.

 

His time will be important to create the first virtual GC between the overall contender.s

De Marchi (BMC) sets 16:43. Prett fast for the Italian domestique. He's fifth so far.

Here comes Bennati. He sets a solid but risk-free 17:00.

 

While at the start Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) begins his ride. He is targetting stages after finishing fourth overall at the Tour de France.

Here's Sagan. He's off in 10 minutes or so.

 

He's not in the rainbow jersey today because Tony Martin is the current world TT champion.

 

Bora have the music blasting out from the team. Sagan's favourite warm-up tune seems to be Eye of the Tiger by Survivor.

Vasil Kiryienka of Team Sky is a former world TT champion and is an outsider today.

 

He has the power and speed to win but might have to save his legs and avoid crashing so he is on form to help Chris Froome.

Here's Pinot before his ride. He looks a little nervous, probably due to the wet conditions.

 

As Pierre Rollands starts the rain is pouring down. The riders are getting soaked in the heavy rain. 

Here comes Majka. He sets 16: 53. Pretty good from the Pole.

Here comes Pinot. He sets 16:54.  That's pretty fast from the Frenchman.

Here's Sagz. He's on the start ramp!  

He's off! Will Sagan take risks on the wet roads? With his bike skills he could gain a chunk of time on his rivals and so have a better chance of pulling on the yellow jersey tomorrow in the expected sprint in Liege.

After 80 riders have started, Nikias Arndt (Sunweb) remains fastest with a time of 16:20. 

 

That's the time to beat for now. 

To read more about Peter Sagan and his hopes of winning a sixth green jersey, click here for our special TDF countdown feature.

 

During this year's Tour de France we will have special and exclusive podcast content. 

 

Find time to listen to this special Esteban Chaves podcast. You won't regret it. 

 

The podcast reveals how the rider and the Orica-Scott team have dealt with a frustrating 2017 season, why it's only a small hurdle compared to the injuries Chaves battled back from earlier in his career and, most importantly, whether he ever stops smiling.

 

 

 

 

 

#TDF2017 @nicholasroche is our next rider out on the course. We're loving the stripes on his @assos_com skinsuit. https://t.co/n45RAgOS6Q

@BMCProTeam Sat, 1st Jul 2017 14:40:20

Kiryienka is off and underway in the rain. He's silky smooth and fast.

Sagan is on a ride, setting 9:31 after 8.1km but Matteo Trentin is faster in 9:24.  

Here comes Sagan. He's 1km from the finish.

Sagan goes deep at the finish, setting a time of 16:29. That puts him in 3rd place so far.

Here comes Trentin. He is very fast and catches his 2 minute man Zabel.

He sets 16:14. New fastest time! 

Trentin managed to find six seconds on Arndt. That's impressive on 14km of wet, twisting roads. 

Trentin will take over from Arndt in the hot seat as fastest rider.

The umbrellas are out due to the rain but riders continue to take risks on the corners.

 

Kiryienka's back wheel slipped for s second just before a big right turn.

Kiwi TT champion Jack Bauer is off but his wheel slips as he kicks away. That was a nervous start.

 

Here's Kiri! He's fast! He sets 16:11.

Kiryienka took a few risks on the corners but it was worth it. He was 3 seconds faster than Trentin and so now tops the leader board.

It will be interesting to see if any one can bear him.

We're hearing that several riders have crashed including Britain's Scott Thwaites and Germany's Rik Zabel.    

 

 

Next off in former world road race champion and current Polish TT champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky).

 

He could do a fast ride today.

For the full start list and running order, click here.

This is the current top ten in the TT.

 

1 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky 0:16:11
2 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors 0:16:14
3 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:16:20
4 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team 0:16:21
5 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:16:29
6 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:16:36
7 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:16:36
8 Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin 0:16:40
9 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:16:43
10 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team 0:16:44

To see the fastest time, check out or Situation on the right of the page.

Allez Thomas! Thomas Voeckler starts his final Tour de France. The veteran Frenchman plans to retire on the Champs Elysees in Paris in three weeks time.

 

This will be the last three weeks we can see him on the attack and pulling faces.

 

Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac) is also out on the course. The twisting course could suit his ability to kick hard and be aggressive out of corners.

Official word on Bevin's #TDF2017 TT crash : "He's ok, going a little too fast, ankle a little banged up, but large… https://t.co/qUXnBGbyy8

@Ride_Argyle Sat, 1st Jul 2017 15:14:09

Here comes John Degenkolb. He gets a big cheer from the German crowd and stops the clock in 16:53.

Kwiatkowski confirms Team Sky's strength in depth setting 16:19. That is third fastest behind his teammate Kiryienka.

Chris Froome followed Kwiatkowski in the Team Sky to study how his teammate rode the course and took the corners in the rain.

Trentin has explained that the course is very technical, with the need to kick out of all the corners in the second half. He warned that riders need to save something for the tough finale if they want to set a fast time.

The riders are especially scared of the white lines in the city centre. They are slippy when wet and today they are very wet.

We have the first images from our photographers out on the course. 

 

This one is of Peter Sagan in action.

 

This is a close up of early leader Nikias Arndt (Sunweb).

 

Darryl Impey (Orica) finishes fast and set a time of 16:23, that's the sixth best time so far.

Vasil Kiryienka of Team Sky is still the fastest with a time of 16:11.

 

Can Tony Martin or anyone else beat him? 

The overall contenders will soon be off. Romain Bardet (AG2R) will be one of the first down the ramp.

 

He will be chased by Geraint Thomas (Team Sky).

Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) is off just after them.

Next up is Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data).

 

He's had a tough start to the season due to Glandular Fever but is just happy to be riding the Tour de France.

 

Crash ! George Bennett slips out on the same corner as his teammate earlier.

 

He's up but has lost 30 seconds or so.

Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) sets 16:24 but he lost a chink of time in the final 5km. He is only 7th fastest despite being European TT champion.

Another GD contender is up: Jakob Fuglsang (Astana). 

That's a GC contender. The Dane won the Criterium du Dauphine last month. 

Big favourite Tony Martin (Katusha) is now warming-up. He's under pressure but has the pedigree to win and take the first yellow jersey.

Bardet is off. He will be hoping to avoid any crashes, spills and big time losses.

This is a great close up shot of Team Sky's Christian Knees.

 

Every rider does a special warm-up programme before their ride. Many listen to music to  isolate them from the people around them and find some extra motivation.

 

This is Alberto Bettiol of Cannondale-Drapac.

 

Britain's Adam Yates is out on the course. He will be hoping to limit hos losses to Froome and the better time trialists.

Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) is on the rollers, warming up for his ride.

 

This is likely to be his last ever ride at the Tour de France and he is hoping for a third victory.

Gilbert is fast but not quite fast enough. He sets a time of 16:34.

After his early crash, George Bennett sets 17:41. 

That was a fine ride from @PhilippeGilbert. 16:34 for the tenth best provisional time. #TDF2017

@quickstepteam Sat, 1st Jul 2017 15:55:19

Goldren Greg van Avermaet is out on the course.

 

The Olympic road race champion will be chasing stage victories late in the Tour.

Fuglsang finishes in 16:58. Not bad but not fast from the Dane.

Crash! Tony Gallopin goes down at speed.

The French gets up and sets off again but he's stunned.

Romain Bardet (AG2R) makes it to the finish without any problems and sets a time of 16:55

 

That's pretty good from the French climber.

Boom! Thomas finishes just behind and sets the new fastest time.

There was no sign of Thomas on live TV but he was super fast, setting a time of 16:04.

#TDF2017 Geraint Thomas is 7 seconds faster than Kiryienka and has the current best time: 16'04"

@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 1st Jul 2017 16:05:02

Here we go! It's time for Richie Porte to start.

The Australian dances on the pedals and then quickly settles into his aero position.

Next up is Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).

Here comes Rigoberto Uran. He sets 17:07. He's 1:03 slower than Thomas after just 14km.

Porte slows for a tight corner but quickly gets his bike back up to speed on the bridge over the Rhine in downtown Dusseldorf.

Froome is on the rollers warming up. He is off last today, in 20 minutes or so.

There are just 18 riders left to start. Things are getting very serious for the stage victory and amongst the overall contenders.

Crash! Valverde went down hard.

Valverde lost control of his bike on a fast corner and went down hard into the barriers.

It's unclear if he will be able to finish the time trial.

Race on! Tony Martin starts his ride, knowing he has to beat Geraint Thomas' time of 16:04.

Martin wears the TT world champion's rainbow jersey.

Here comes Richie. He sets a time of 16:51. He's only 37th fastst so far. That's a little off the pace even if he's gained a few seconds on the pure climbers.

Phinney is out on the course and is riding well. He is only 3 seconds of the best time at the 8.1km point. 

Porte avoided any risks but lost 47 seconds to Thomas. That's a significant gap in just 14km. 

 

Roglic is out on the course. He is a big threat to Martin today but there are reports he crashed too, like several of his teammates.

Here comes Phinney. He sets 16:21. He just runs out of power and speed in the finale of the TT.

There are reports that Valverde is out of the Tour due to his crash. He hit the barriers hard.

Movistar has confirmed that Valverde is out of the Tour after his crash.

 

Here comes Martin. It's going to be close.

Martin sets a time of 16:12. That's not enough to beat Thomas!

16:12 is only good enough for third place so far.

Vasil Kiriyenko (Team Sky)  is second fastest at 7 seconds.

Quintana is riding but has thrown off his visor/glasses due to the rain.

Here comes Kittel! He sets 16:18 He's got a shot at taking yellow in the days to come. Not on Sunday but next week perhaps.

Froome is out on the course, tucked low on his bike. He hesitates on a corner but is quickly back up to speed.

After 8.1km Aru, Quintana and Contaor are all about 15km down on Thomas.

Stefan Kung is the big threat to Thomas now. The BMC rider is fast.

16'20" for @blingmatthews at stage one of #TDF2017 #KeepChallenging https://t.co/7EnfQ5VXeQ

@TeamSunweb Sat, 1st Jul 2017 16:38:24

Froome is also fast at the 8.1km point. He was only 9 seconds slower than Martin at that point. He could gain 40/50 seconds on some of his rivals today.

Froome stomps on the pedals to accelerate after two corners.

Here is Aru. He sets 16: 57. He's gonig to lose time today.

King sets 16:09 but that's not enough to beat Thomas, who lets out a big sigh in the hot seat.

 

The Welshman's biggest rivals is perhaps his teammate Froome but he's not very close.

Contador sets 16:58. That's pretty slow for the Spaniard.

All he can do is wait. @GeraintThomas86 on the hotseat with only a few riders remaining. @chrisfroome set a competi… https://t.co/AdSx6Aw4B7

@TeamSky Sat, 1st Jul 2017 16:45:53

Quintana sets 16:52. That's faster than Contador but still slow compared to Froome's expected time.

Here comes Froome!

Froome is slower than Thomas, who wins the stage, but Fromoe gains a chunk of time on all his GC rivals. 

 

It's a big day for Team Sky, with Thomas celebrating his first ever solo Grand Tour stage.

What a day! The wet conditions made for a nervous 14km time trial and caused some of the GC riders to lose significant time to Froome.

 

Froome set a time of 16:16. Most of his rivals were 40 seconds or so slower.

This is the provisional top ten:

 

1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:16:04
2 Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:00:05
3 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky 0:00:07
4 Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:08
5 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:10
6 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:13
7 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 0:00:15
8 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:16
9 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:16
10 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data 0:00:16

To check out our fearly report and photo gallery, click here. 

 

 

Thomas seventh Briton to wear yellow after Froome, Wiggins, Millar, Yates, Boardman, Simpson

@willfoth Sat, 1st Jul 2017 16:55:31

There have been numerous crashes in the rain today. Most riders only slid out and got up again but Valverde is out of the race after hitting the barriers hard.

There are reports than Ion Izagirre also crashed out in the TT. He was Bahrain-Merida's hope for the GC and mountain stage victories.

Thomas climbs on the podium and waves him arms in celebration. It's a big day for the Welshman.

Thomas used his track pursuit speed and bike skills to conquer the rain and 14km course.

 

His reward is the first yellow jersey of the 2017 Tour de France.

He pulls on the jersey and holds up the yellow lion.

 

It's just reward for Thomas who crashed hard at the Giro d'Italia due to a stopped police motorbike. He was forced to quite the Giro, recover and prepare for the Tour de France.

Geraint Thomas let out a cheer and hugged his soigneur immediately after realising he had won the stage. 

 

"It's an amazing feeling. I didn't believe it was going to happen, I thought Martin's going to beat me, or somebody's going to beat me. It's an amazing feeling," he said.  

Thomas added:

 

"I've had my fair share of bad luck this year. Also, back home the last month hasn't been great, all this year actually. It's amazing to get this win, and big thanks to everyone who's supported me. Big shout out to my wife, and my mum as well. We've both had a bit of a rough time recently. It's a great day."

 

Asked about the wet corners and conditions, he said:

 

"They weren't too slippery if you don't go too fast. The first corner I took quite fast, and Nico was on the radio saying 'no, rest just steady'. I took the rest, and there were a few time I thought I could have gone a bit faster, but all that doesn't matter anymore."

 

"I got the power out when it mattered, and I felt good. I think I paced it really well. I've done some good TT's this year, so it's nice ... I really can't believe it."

Stefan Kng split the Team Sky riders to finish second. He was five seconds slower than Thomas but two faster than Kiryienka. 

 

That ride gave him the best young rider's white jersey.

Team Sky had four riders in the top 10, with froome sixth and Kwiatkowski 7th.

 

Numerous riders crashes, including Luke Durbridge (Orica-Scott). He finished 195th at 3:01 after struggling to finish.

We'll have a full medical update later on all the riders who crashed. With Valverde and Izagirre out, the race has already lost two top 10 contenders.

Here's the first image of Geraint Thomas in the race leader's yellow jersey. 

 

All the riders faced some tough conditions because of the rain. This great shot is of Luis Angel Mate of Cofidis at full speed.

 

 

As per tradition, Thomas had to autograph a series of yellow jersey after pulling on one himself.

 

 

Stay with us on our live feed as we bring you more race quotes, info and photos from the opening time trial stage in Dusseldorf.

 

For our full stage report and photo gallery of all the action from the TT, click here.

 

Taylor Phinney spoke to US television channel NBC after his ride for 12th place on his Tour de France debut.

 

"I felt really good. I didn't realize I was so close to the top guys at the middle checkpoint – I wasn't listening to the radio because I like to be by myself when I do these kinds of efforts," he explained.

 

"I felt like I could control it well, and kept the speed up. I really was able to throttle it on the way back. Not quite at the level obviously of Geraint Thomas but I'm quietly happy."

 

 

Geraint Thomas is now in the mixed zone behind the podium area, giving interviews to the many TV channels from around the world.

 

He will probably say the same thing about 15 times as each broadcaster gets its moment of attention.

 

.@LeTour leader @GeraintThomas86 after his Stage 1 win: “Great start. It would be nice to go to Paris now. Paris isn’t so far away, is it?”

@NBCSNCycling Sat, 1st Jul 2017 17:29:35

Chris Froome spoke just after crossing the finish line. He was happy with his ride and that of teammate Thomas.

 


"I haven’t seen the times yet but I heard in my earpiece that Geraint Thomas won. That’s super for the team, super super. Tomorrow is the first road stage, and we’ll see," he said.

 

"The time trial is something I worked on a lot in the last three weeks since the Dauphiné. Fortunately I did a good time today."

Fabio Aru also spoke briefly at the finish.

 

"I don’t know my time relative to the others yet but the important thing was not to fall. The first stage is done and we’re ready," the Italian said, also commenting on the Valverde crash.

 

"I’m sorry because Alejandro is a friend. It was dangerous with the rain, I’m very sorry to hear it."

Romain Bardet lost time to Froome but limited his losses to the other GC contender. Considering the tough conditions, that's a successful day for the skinny Frenchman.

 

"I didn’t take many risks but I had good sensations especially considering it’s an event I don’t particularly like," he said.

 

"I just wanted to do a clean time trial, without crashes, and that’s how it went."

According to reports from Spanish radio, Alejandro Valverde has been diagnosed with a fractured knee cap.

 

It is likely that he hit ihs knee on the unprotected metal barriers.

A representative from the Movistar tspoke to NBC television briefly sfter the crash.

 

"He’s going the hospital right now. The most difficult thing is the (kneecap) seems to be broken, and then becaues of the crash against the wall, there is a deep cut in the leg," he said.

 

"There was a lot of blood, and they have to clean out the area before doing the x-ray to see if both bones are broken or not. It seems that the knee has a terrible injury."

 

This close-up shot is of Thomas as he hits the line. Most other image are in the dark rain that covered Dusseldorf all day. 

 

This is Thomas at speed in the near dark conditions.

 

To understand how bad the weather was today, check out this image from Team Sky. 

 

 

I think i'm the most surprised person about my today performance. If yesterday someone told me… https://t.co/3eBmjKu9U5

@MATTEOTRENTIN Sat, 1st Jul 2017 17:57:50

That was Matteo Trentin after he finished fifth in the TT, just two seconds slower than Tony Martin.

Team Sky will no doubt be celebrating tonight.

 

Not only did Thomas win the time trial and take the first yellow jersey, Froome gained some important time on all his overall rivals.

A quick calculation of the times gained and lost between Froome and the overall contenders gives this virtually classification:

 

Simon Yates (Orica-Scott): +25

Richie Porte (BMC) +35

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +36

Romain Bardet +39

Fabio Aru (Astana) +40

Alberto Contador +41

Jakob Fuglsang +42

Today's time trial will give  us plenty to consider and influence the next few day's racing.

 

Will Thomas and Team Sky try to defend the jersey all the way to the first mountain finish at Planche des Belles Filles on stage 5? 

 

Or can a sprinter gain enough time via time bonuses to take it? 

 

We'll find out more during Sunday's second stage to Liege in Belgium.

To understand all that happened during the time trial, click here for our full report and photo gallery page.

 

Join us tomorrow for full live coverage of stage 2 of the Tour de France. We'll be live with all the news before the stage start and long after the stage finish in Liege.

 

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