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Tour de France

Mike Teunissen Eighth In Bologna

On Sunday June 30, Mike Teunissen won the first Tour de France runner-up spot for the Intermarché-Wanty team, as part of the breakaway that went all the way on stage 2.

After a Dantesque opening stage that saw Louis Meintjes finish in the first group in Rimini, Mike Teunissen had a nose for success at the start of this second day in Italy, which set off from Cenesatico towards Bologna and featured six short climbs, including two passes of the steep Sanctuary of San Luca in the last thirty kilometers.

The Dutch rider, stage winner and wearer of the yellow jersey in the 2019 Tour, was part of an eleven-rider breakaway that enjoyed a maximum lead of nine minutes. This lead was maintained at four minutes at the start of the local circuit in Bologna, enough for the breakaway to fight it out for honours on the two San Luca climbs.

On unfavorable terrain, Teunissen hung on after the first pass to regain the lead, before the decisive attack came on the approach to the second pass. After 200 kilometers and almost five hours of racing, Teunissen finished eighth on the stage.

Mike Teunissen

“You always need luck to be in the breakaway. I was busy controlling the attacks at the start of the race and found myself in the leading group, but I would have preferred to break away with other riders. I knew from the first climb that I had to try something special to win this stage. With the exception of Jonas Abrahamsen, almost all my breakaway companions weigh 10 kilos less than me. So as soon as we had to climb, i’m at a disadvantage. I tried to save myself and stay calm, in the hope that the others would exert themselves more in the heat. But winning was difficult.”

“My role in this Tour is clear: I’m here above all to help our sprinters, Biniam Girmay and Gerben Thijssen. It was an enjoyable day up front, but now it’s a question of recovering well, because tomorrow is an important day. This is the first sprint opportunity, with a chance for Gerben Thijssen. I’ll try to put him down as best I can in the final pack. It’s Gerben’s first Tour, and he’s discovering a new experience in a major race. I’m going to help him as best I can.”

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