TdF stage one review

The first stage of the 2017 Tour de France was a mixture of emotions for the Australian contingent of riders who lined up in the 14km time trial in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Michael Matthews of Team Sunweb was the best placed Aussie in 16th place, just twenty seconds behind the over-all stage winner, Geraint Thomas (Team Sky).
Matthews started the day in the earlier wave of riders and held on to a top solid top 10 position for most of the day. Thomas was also in that earlier wave and had a long wait to see if his time of 16.04 would be enough to hold on over the likes of the current world Time Trial champion and local German favorited, Tony Martin and Thomas’ own Team Sky team member and overall race favourite, Chris Froome.
Froome would finished the stage just 12 second down on Thomas, but well in front of many of the early overall race favourites including Australian BMC rider, Richie Porte (47 seconds) Trek- Segafredo rider Alberto Contador (54 seconds), Movistar rider Nairo Quintara (48 seconds) and French favourite, Romain Bardot (51 seconds).
The day was not one to remember for another early race favourite, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Valverde had a heavy fall corning into a rain soaked left hander, sliding into the crowd barriers, resulting in a broken knee cap and fractured Talus bone.
The other Australian and Kiwi riders also performed well as predicted with a solid ride from Orica- Scott riders Damian Howson @ .43 seconds down in 41st place and Mathew Hayman @ 1.01 in 88th position.
Western Australian rider, Luke Durbridge (Orica- Scott) had a day also to forget as he finished back in 195th place with an uncharacteristic time of 19.05 which unofficially looks like he may have suffered a fall or mechanical mishap.
Other Australian and Kiwi places –
56. Jack Bauer – Quick-Step .49
91. Simon Clarke – Cannondale Drapac 1.02
109. Jay McCarthy – Bora Hansgrohe 1.10
162. George Bennett – LottoNI Jumbo 1.37
178. Dion Smith – Wanty – Groupe Gobert 1.47
180. Patrick Bevin – Cannondale Drapac 1.48
183. Mark Renshaw – Dimension Data 1.50
188. Adam Hansen – Lotto Soudal 1.59


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