Welshman Thomas wins Tour opener

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During the German time trial specialist Tony Martin winning the Tour Aufakt with a ranking of four misses, cheers Geraint Thomas in rainy weather on the first Yellow Jersey. A prominent driver crashes hard.

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Tour kick-off in Düsseldorf

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Tour kick-off in Düsseldorf

The dream is shattered: Tony Martin has pulled in the düsseldorf-based weather lottery is a loser, and also due to the rainy conditions the Yellow Jersey for the opening stage of the Tour de France misses. In spite of a spirited idea, it was enough for the time trial world champion at the first Grand Départ in Germany for 30 years, only the fourth rank. “The disappointment is infinite. I had to win, the clear target. It is very a pity to me, I said that there is a unique Chance to drive in Germany, in Yellow,” said a visibly frustrated Tony Martin at the finish.

On the 14 km long city course along the banks of the Rhine, Martin risked in the fight against the clock a lot, but not apparently had enough in reserve to beat Geraint Thomas of the Sky team of defending champion Chris Froome. The Welshman Thomas drove in 16:04 minutes to victory, eight seconds more needed Martin, even though he got everything out of himself. The 32-Year-old German hope was boldly gone in the race, and didn’t impress too much from the rain that had turned the road into a skating rink. In the meantime, the four-time world champion was four seconds in front of Thomas, but in the second part, Martin lost too much time. “Out the back of the battery became empty,” said Martin.

Tony Martin is disappointed: “It was a unique opportunity to travel in Germany in Yellow”

Favorites Valverde in the hospital

Martin had been warned in advance against the dangers that would arise in the case of rain. Tram-rails, Zebra stripes, red colored bike paths – there were numerous potential Traps in the wet. How treacherous the conditions were, saw the Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde, crashed in a curve hard. The Spanish of the favorites crashed in the barriers and was taken to the hospital – for him the Tour is finished already after the first day. Bad luck also debutant Rick Zabel, who came on his Tour to Premiere in the same fall, but was able to drive. “I’ve taken a bit too much of a risk, and I’m kind of slipped. Annoying, but forget it,” said the son of the Sprinter legend Erik Zabel.

Valverde: From the hospital

Prior to Martin’s Start was, that luck would play a certain role. The conditions changed often: The rain was, again, stronger, and way in between also. The road, however, remained consistently slippery. For the driver, it was especially in the curves is a true balancing act, Riding on the razor blade. For Martin, the celebrated so many great achievements, but also bitter failure was experienced, it was the most important day of the season. Meticulously he had prepared. For months, the election had filed-Swiss is the right vote, every Millimeter of its Position, simply every Detail. Everything should be in perfect harmony on this day of celebration for German Cycling.

Title of defender of the Pious to a good Start

Hundreds of thousands of Fans from all over the world had gathered in the metropolis on the Rhine, in spite of the unsettled weather along the route. And many of them Martin pushed the thumb, wanted to see him in the evening in the Yellow Jersey. This dream, however, was not a reality.

Of the overall favourites the defending champion, made Froome, by far, the best character and distanced as the Sixth of its competitors, such as the Australian Richie Porte. A strong performance showed Sprinter Marcel Kittel, in ninth place (+0:16) and Nikias Arndt in Eleventh place (+0:16).

Watch the Video 02:05

“Didn’t want to race, lose in the curves”