Hectic Start to the Tour de France2. July 2016, Utah Beach (FRA) — Road Team
Stage 1 of the Tour de France saw a nervous battle for the first Yellow Jersey, with Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data) taking the win in a crash-marred sprint.
Strong crosswinds and a crash involving Brent Bookwalter made for a hectic day in the saddle. Bookwalter resumed racing and was quickly back in the peloton.
A crash in the last 500 meters saw the peloton split in two, leaving few sprinters to battle for the win.
Tejay van Garderen and Greg Van Avermaet represented the United States of America and Belgium respectively in a post-race war commemorative ceremony on Utah Beach.
Quotes of the Day
“It was such a hectic, stressful day. I’m just happy to finish with no skin missing to be honest. I was right up there in sprint and was luckily just behind the crash in the final and managed to avoid it. It was one of those days that are so hard. It was quite stressful and hard to keep everyone together. Tomorrow is a special stage too so we’ll see what happens.”
Tejay van Garderen:
“There was a lot of anticipation, a lot of nervous energy, and once you get the race going obviously it’s hectic and it’s a different kind of nervous. But at least it’s the job that we know how to do and prepared for, so it’s good to get it started. Today went quite well and we stayed out of trouble. Unfortunately, we had Brent caught up in a crash but he’s a tough guy so I think he’ll pull up just fine. We have everyone fit and healthy and ready to go for tomorrow.
“It was definitely powerful to be involved in the post-race commemorative ceremony representing the United States. It puts a lot of what we are doing into perspective. It was a special moment being up there with different nationalities to commemorate the tragic history of this race.”
Greg Van Avermaet:
“Like always it was a hectic first stage. There was a lot of wind so we had to be careful to not lose any time. We were always up there and everyone was close together so I think it was a good day for us. The sprint was also hectic so it was not a good idea to sprint with the guys, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow. It’s a good finish for me so hopefully we can be up there for a good finish. There are a few contenders for tomorrow’s stage. Sagan is up there, Matthews, Alaphilippe, so it will be a big fight.”
Medical Update on Brent Bookwalter:
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa gave the following update on Brent Bookwalter follow his crash:
“Brent sustained multiple contusions involving the left side of the upper and lower body. The most worrisome at this point in time is the right hip where he landed with a high-energy impact. We will continue to evaluate Brent tonight in the hotel and decide the plan of care accordingly. All of the other injuries are limited to superficial abrasions to his shoulders and a right elbow laceration.”
Tour de France
Stage 1 Mont-Saint-Michel > Utah Beach (188km)
Top 3: Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data), Marcel Kittel (Etixx-Quick Step), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff).
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 32. Greg Van Avermaet, 38. Marcus Burghardt, 40. Richie Porte
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.