By Gregor Brown
Team Ineos continue to fall just short in the Tour de France team time trials, never having won one in their 10-year history.
In the 2019 Tour de France they appeared ready to do so, first off of the start ramp and setting the fastest time, only to slip to second when the final team Jumbo-Visma finished.
Ineos, racing as Team Sky, placed second in TTTs in the 2018 and 2015 Tours, and third in 2013 and 2011.
"We wanted to go 57kph. I think it's alright and we rode very well and communicated well," team leader Geraint Thomas said after the stage two finish in Brussels.
"A couple of times you think maybe you could chop off a bit quicker, but I think everyone rode strongly so we can't be too disappointed."
Thomas, co-leader Egan Bernal and the team covered the 27.6km through the Belgian capital in 29-17, averaging 56.551kph
Jumbo-Visma, with stage one winner and yellow jersey Mike Teunissen, rode in 28-57 minutes, averaging 57.202kph. The team also includes classification rider Steven Kruijswijk.
Though Team Ineos have won the Tour de France six times they have never won a time trial as a unit in the race, placing second behind BMC Racing last year.
But Ineos were able to put time into their other rivals on stage two of the Tour de France 2019.
"It was quite good going off first as your judgment on how the ride went isn't skewed by the result, but I felt it was good," Thomas added.
"Looking at GC, it's a good performance, but obviously we wanted to win. I think 20 seconds [to Jumbo-Visma] is a big enough gap to know a few mistakes didn't cost us the stage win. It was a positive day for sure."
Thomas had crashed in the final 2km of stage one, but said that he had "no issues" in stage two.
"I had no issues at all today," he continued. "I was pretty slow after I hit the barriers, but like I said, it was a shame a three lane road was made into two."
"I think we did a really good TTT and it was really nice to be in the hot seat," Bernal said. "We took some time on some good GC riders today so it was perfect for us.
"I felt really good in the stage - the feeling was better than last year in the TTT. I can be happy with that because I'm not a specialist and I was doing the TT with some strong guys. It was difficult but I felt good.
"I'm happy to be through these first two stages. In a Grand Tour you have to go day by day. I'm already thinking about tomorrow."