Jumbo-Visma had an eventful first day of the 2021 Tour de France, as Primož Roglič finished on a team-mate's bike, Steven Kruijswijk finished on a broken machine, and four of their domestiques finished 16 minutes adrift, one needing x-rays this evening, after being caught up in the crash-marred stage one.
Roglič sprinted uphill to third place behind stage winner Julian Alaphilippe and BikeExchange's Michael Matthews, gaining four bonus seconds to give him an early, yet slight, advantage over his rivals.
According to Jumbo-Visma team-mate Robert Gesink (opens in new tab), Roglič finished the stage on Jonas Vingegaard's bike, a machine 2cm too small for him, making his podium finish on the first day even more impressive as he looks to go one better than his second-place overall last year.
Jumbo-Visma had been brought down in the first of two big crashes that marred the opening stage.
A fan holding a large sign saying hello to their grandparents turned around as the TV motorbike went past and the peloton approached, jutting out into the road and into the path of the oncoming Tony Martin.
The German went down, with his Jumbo-Visma team-mates following behind, falling like dominoes.
"Many spectators can behave respectfully, but unfortunately not this one. Fortunately, Primož came through well. I hope that the physical damage to myself and the other boys is manageable," Martin said, with Mike Teunissen also saying he will have x-rays this evening, which he hopes will give him "good news", Wout van Aert adding that the whole situation could have been a lot worse - as he and Primož Roglič escaped unscathed.
"Fans please stay off the roads and if you want to pay attention to your grandad and grandma, visit them." was team boss Richard Plugge's judgement of the incident.
Although Martin, Sepp Kuss, and Mike Teunissen were three of the last six riders to finish the stage, the strong showing from Roglič, Vingegaard in 13th, and Van Aert in 24th was enough to give Jumbo-Visma the lead in the team's classification.
Steven Kruijswijk also managed to lose only 1-49 after pictures emerged at the finish showing one of his seat stays had broken.
De fiets waarmee Steven Kruijswijk over de finish kwam, op een minuut of twee. Zoek wat er mist. pic.twitter.com/3XKbRzTIPSJune 26, 2021
"Of course it's nice to have all the fans on the side of the road but it can go both ways," was Kuss' evaluation of the day, "but as long as Roglič remains in the upper echelons of the GC, his support cast will handle anything else thrown at them.
"He definitely didn't miss a beat not being in any races recently, so it's good to see and as long as he's up there we're happy."
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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