Jakob Fuglsang feeling better than feared after heavy crash on Tour de France opening stage

The Dane says he believes he can ride himself back to 100 per cent condition ahead of the mountains

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It was a rough start with a crash on stage one, but Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) says he feels better in the 2019 Tour de France.

In the 27.6km team time trial, Astana lost only 41 seconds to Jumbo-Visma with Steven Kruijswijk today and 21 to Ineos with Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal.

"I had better days, but after yesterday, I'm still quite happy with the feeling in general," Fuglsang said.

>>> Five talking points from stage two of the Tour de France 2019

"It went better than I feared yesterday. We were talking yesterday that I might just have to sit on the wheels but today I was happy I could also pull.

Jakob Fuglsang wa caught in a crash on the opening stage of the 2019 Tour de France (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / POOL / AFP/ Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

"For sure with the time loss to Ineos, I'm quite happy with it. I said before the Tour de France started, that for me even 30 seconds would be OK."

Fuglsang had stitches above his right eye but he suffered muscle contusions around his knee when he crashed nearing the end of stage one in Brussels.

"I'm OK, I had a little headache yesterday. I'm tired, I was tired yesterday, but the cut over the eye is no problem, the leg is the worst thing and that is of course what you need here," Fuglsang said.

"The Tour is still long, we will see. It was bad luck yesterday. I'm for sure ready to fight until Paris. There is a lot of bike racing to do, the big mountains are to come, and I think I will be back on top in a few days."

The first mountain day comes on Thursday, the summit finish to La Planche des Belles Filles. He continued, "I'm not 100 per cent now but I believe I'll get back there."

Though they lost some time, he gained time on other rivals like Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team).

It is a good sign for Fuglsang, who won the Vuelta a Andalucía, Tirreno-Adriatico and the Critérium du Dauphiné stage races this season.

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