A hard 154km opening stage of Paris- Nice 2020. The day saw the peloton battered by crosswinds, rain, cobbles and echelons in Plaisir.
Team Bahrain McLaren leader, Dylan Teuns was runner up to Maximilian Schachmann (Bora- Hansgrohe), with Schachmann pipping Teuns to the line, being the first to wear the leader’s yellow jersey.
The team worked hard, and the riders showed strength in the tough conditions. Ivan Garcia Cortina was pulling hard to catch the peloton up with the breakaway couple Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and Tiesj Benoot (Team Sunweb). Heinrich Haussler was focused with Cortina to help launch Dylan Teuns into a position to outsprint the other three breakaway riders. Pello Bilbao, another of Team Bahrain McLarens’ GC leaders, finished the race in 17th position in a bunch, 15 seconds behind the leaders.
Dylan Teuns was pleased with the performance and team effort: “When the dangerous part started with the echelons, me and the other guys took the wrong side of the road, and we were a little bit blocked. We had to jump on the good road again, and that’s why I was in the third group at the crucial moment. With the help of my teammates, we quickly made it to the second group. They put in hard work to get me and Pello into a good position again. They worked really hard to bring us to the first group. When we made it there just before Benoot and Alaphilippe attacked, Ivan Cortina took the responsibility to chase back the two strong guys. On the final climb, I saw the moment to attack. I waited a little bit because I saw a guy was a little bit behind, so we were two against two and we could get back to the two riders in front. I started the sprint a little bit early because I forgot it was a headwind and Schachmann came really strong. I’m happy with second place “.
Ivan Garcia Cortina was pleased with his performance: “After the sickness, I was one and a half weeks without training, so it’s nice to feel good and to be able to stay in front. I surprised myself, and I’m happy that I could give good support to the team, and Dylan was second, so it’s perfect”.
Gorazd Štangelj, TBM Sports director: “It was a really tricky day. A dangerous stage with all that wind and rain from the start. In the end, we had good timing and a strong team at the front. Ivan Cortina did a really great job, also Pello. We needed to sacrifice him too because the two riders that attacked were too strong and we really needed to put all in to bring them back. Dylan was also really strong to close the gap and try to win the stage or think about the GC and this was as much as we could get today. Now after the stage we could play different maybe, but this is what it is”.
(All pictures can be used for editorial and non-commercial usages only and are copyright @Bettiniphoto @TeamBahrainMcLaren)
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