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Yates & Chaves safely through slippery stage one at the Tour de France

Sat 1 Jul 2017

ORICA-SCOTT general classification riders Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves have safely negotiated the opening time trial of the Tour de France, minimising any time lost on a wet and slippery day.

The pair forfeited 37seconds and one-minute 13seconds respectively to stage winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) who won the stage by five seconds to Stefan Kung (BMC Racing Team).

Former Tour de France winner Chris Froome finished 12seconds down on teammate Thomas, with the rest of the overall contenders finishing around 50seconds drift, highlighting the strength of Yates’ ride.

“I’m pretty happy with the ride today,” Yates said. “I’m used to riding in the rain being from the UK. Of course it’s dangerous, but I feel OK in these conditions.” 

“We’re in a good position after the first day. I took some time on some of our rivals and we can be happy with where we sit going into day two.” 

Sport director Matt White said the team conclude the opening day of racing in a better position than anticipated.

“Simon has had a really good ride, he took some risks there and it’s paid off,” White said.

“Anyone who had a good result has taken risks because the rain made an otherwise ‘simple’ and very fast course much more technical. When you look at the list of favourites, there are definitely a few who have ridden conservatively.

“We walk out of stage one in a better position than anticipated with Simon and we’re off to a strong start for the white jersey competition too.”

The fastest ride of the day for ORICA-SCOTT went to South African champion Daryl Impey with finished 14th, 19seconds of the pace of Thomas.

“It’s always an honour to ride the Tour de France and even more so to ride in the national championship jersey and show off the flag of our country,” Impey said on the finish line.

“I felt good and bad. In some sections I felt really strong but then I was flat in the final.

“In a short time trial like that you can’t leave anything behind so I finished completely empty.” 

ORICA-SCOTT’s final rider of the day, former Australian time trial champion Luke Durbridge, crashed on a corner in his pursuit for a stage win.

The 26-year-old fell on his ankle and scans have confirmed he has avoided any broken bones but has identified ligament damage.

Durbridge will work with team medical staff in an attempt to try to start stage two with a final decision to be made tomorrow.

“Luke has had a fall during today’s time trial. Thankfully there’s no bone damage but he does have some concerns with ligaments,” White explained.

“He was going all out for a strong stage result and unfortunately these things can happen. We will monitor the injury overnight and test tomorrow before making a final decision of his ability to start stage two.”

Tour de France – Stage 1 Results

1. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 16:04
2. Stefan Kung (BMC Racing) +0:05
3. Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky) +0:07
14. Daryl Impey (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:19 

Tour de France – General Classification after stage 1

1. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 16:04
2. Stefan Kung (BMC Racing) +0:05
3. Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky) +0:07
14. Daryl Impey (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:19

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