The Dutch outfit Jumbo-Visma won the second stage Team Time Trial of the Tour de France in Brussels as Mike Teunissen, Steven Kruijswijk, George Bennett, Wout van Aert and Tony Martin outclassed Team Ineos by twenty seconds allowing Teunissen to retain the yellow jersey.
22 teams of 8 riders each took part in stage 2, a 27.6km long team time trial in and around Brussels, from the Royal Palace to the Atomium. Last in the teams classification after stage 1, Team Ineos got the ball rolling and set a reference time of 13’59” at Bois de la Cambre (km 13.2), 21’11” at Schaerbeek (km 20.1) and 29’18” on the finishing line at an average speed of 56.5km/h.
Even though David Gaudu slipped in the last curve, Thibaut Pinot’s Groupama-FDJ bettered Astana by nine seconds on the finishing line as Jakob Fuglsang didn’t suffer much after his spectacular crash the day before. The time of Katusha-Alpecin at the first check point came as a shock as Alex Dowsett dragged his team-mates to a faster time than Ineos (by 3″). It was confirmed by the second one (by 2″). But the team were six seconds behind on the finishing line.
Ineos was still leading after half of the teams had completed the course. Sunweb equalled Katusha-Alpecin’s time, 6″ adrift. Deceuninck-Quick Step was close to dethrone the leaders but their fourth man wasn’t able to hold onto Julian Alaphilippe’s slipstream at the end, as they finished eight tenths of a second down.
However, as soon as Jumbo-Visma hit the road, they were clearly one class above all other stage contenders. They were ahead at all time checks and clocked a faster time than Ineos by twenty seconds. It’s the first time since 2001 (Stuart O’Grady’s Crédit Agricole) that a yellow jersey holder has won the team time trial.
Teunissen is the first Dutchman to wear the yellow jersey for two days in a row since Teun van Vliet in 1988.