Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) won the opening 14km time trial around Düsseldorf by five seconds from Stefan Kung (BMC). The keen mathematicians among you will realise that this also means he takes the yellow jersey by the same margin.
Team Sky’s 2015 time trial world champion Kiryienka set the best time early on with 16m11s, but many riders struggled in wet conditions.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was one high profile victim.
— Le Tour de Franz (@leTourdeFranz) July 1, 2017
The Spaniard was forced to abandon.
Kiryienka’s time was eventually overhauled by team-mate Thomas who recorded 16m04s and he held off the likes of Kung and time trial world champion, Tony Martin (Katusha), as well as Chris Froome, who finished sixth.
It was Thomas’s first yellow jersey at the Tour, ten years after his debut in London.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” he said after the stage. “I hadn’t even thought about it to be honest. I was super relaxed coming in. I felt like somebody was going to beat me.
“I’ve had my fair share of bad luck this year and back home the last month hasn’t been great – my wife and mum have both had a bit of a rough time. It’s amazing to get this win and thanks to everyone who has supported me. It’s a great day.”