Tour de France 2017: Team Sky's Geraint Thomas upsets the favourites to claim victory

 
Oliver Gill
Follow Oliver
CYCLING-FRA-GER-TDF2017-PODIUM
Geraint Thomas will wear the famous leaders yellow jersey for tomorrow's stage (Source: Getty)

Britain’s Geraint Thomas surged to victory in the opening stage of the Tour de France as the riders endured treacherous conditions in Dusseldorf.

The Team Sky rider, a key lieutenant for fellow Briton and three-time winner Chris Froome, was the fastest around the 14km time trial course.

Winning in a time of 16 minutes four seconds, Thomas was five seconds ahead of Switzerland’s Stefan Kung. Froome pipped all of his general classification rivals, finishing only 12 seconds behind Thomas in sixth place.

Read more: Skydiving? Millar reveals why Team Sky's days are far from numbered

“It’s an amazing feeling. I didn’t even think about to be honest. I didn’t believe it was going to happen. I thought Martin is going to beat me or so-and-so is going to beat me,” said Thomas.

Thomas went largely unnoticed until he hit the line, with many focusing on the favourites such as Germany’s Tony Martin. But he failed to deliver in front of the home crowds, finishing in fourth place.

The victory for Thomas caps a huge turnaround in fortunes. In May he abandoned his year’s main goal, the Tour of Italy, after suffering the from the impact of a crash with a police motorbike in the opening week.

“I’ve had my fair share of bad luck this year,” the 32-year-old admitted.

A number of the 189 starters of the race hit the deck as standing water on corners made it easy to slip. The highest profile casualty was Movistar rider Alejandro Valverde who smashed into railings after taking a tumble mid-way through the course.

The Spaniard, riding in support of one of Froome's main rivals Nairo Quintana, was taken to hospital and is out of the race.

“They’re not too slippery if you don’t go too fast you know,” said Thomas.

The first corner I took quite fast.... The rest I was riding within myself. There were a few times I thought maybe I could have gone faster.

Read more: New success cycle? Why Rapha split from Team Sky

Stage and general classification

Position Rider (surname, first name) Team Time Gap
1 THOMAS GERAINT TEAM SKY 16' 04''
2 KUENG STEFAN BMC RACING TEAM 16' 09'' 00' 05''
3 KIRYIENKA VASILI TEAM SKY 16' 11'' 00' 07''
4 MARTIN TONY TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN 16' 12'' 00' 08''
5 TRENTIN MATTEO QUICK - STEP FLOORS 16' 14'' 00' 10''
6 FROOME CHRISTOPHER TEAM SKY 16' 16'' 00' 12''
7 VAN EMDEN JOS TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO 16' 19'' 00' 15''
8 KWIATKOWSKI MICHAL TEAM SKY 16' 19'' 00' 15''
9 KITTEL MARCEL QUICK - STEP FLOORS 16' 20'' 00' 16''
10 BOASSON HAGEN EDVALD TEAM DIMENSION DATA 16' 20'' 00' 16''

Related articles