BRUSSELS • Dutchman Mike Teunissen clung on to the yellow jersey for another day as his Jumbo-Visma team powered to victory in the Tour de France's second stage yesterday - a 27.6-km team time trial around the streets of Brussels.
It had looked as though Team Ineos, with defending champion Geraint Thomas leading them home, had done enough to lay down an ominous marker.
With the extra motivation of keeping Teunissen, the first cyclist from the Netherlands to don the yellow jersey since 1989, in the overall lead, the eight Jumbo-Visma riders hammered around the city streets to beat the British outfit by 20 seconds, roaring across the line next to the city's iconic Atomium landmark in 28min 58sec.
The race leader said: "Yesterday, it was a dream come true, and it's the case today again.
"We went hard from the start. Everybody kept their pace. We heard we were the fastest. It gave us a lot of morale. We were flying."
While it was hard for Team Ineos to lose the time trial at the death, it was still a productive day for Thomas and co-leader Egan Bernal of Colombia, who put chunks of time between themselves and some of their general classification rivals.
Calling it a "pretty decent time", the Welshman added: "I was pretty sore hitting the barriers yesterday, so the good news (is) I'm totally fine."
Frenchman Romain Bardet of AG2R-Mondiale lost 59 seconds on the Ineos duo although he will still feel he can claw that damage back when the road goes up, but Australian Richie Porte will be disappointed after his Trek-Segafredo team finished 58 seconds slower than Ineos.
Others, though, will be happy to have limited their losses. Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang, who suffered a heavy crash on Saturday, lost only 21 seconds on the pair as his Astana team produced a solid time trial.
After two days in Belgium, the race moves into France today with a 215km trek from Binche to Epernay, and Teunissen, who is 10 seconds ahead, will be confident of retaining the overall lead.
However, those looking for signs this will be an open and competitive Tour, will see the minimal time differences between the main contenders as a sign of how tight it is.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS