The 1st stage of the Tour de France was a spectacle unrivaled by anything else we have experienced. We could not have hoped for a better start to our Grande Boucle either with Steve Cummings finishing in a terrific 10th place.
It was a day of so many highs for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung with Daniel Teklehaimanot being the first rider to get the 102nd Tour de France started as he rolled off the start ramp at 14:00 in Utrecht. The crowds, which were bursting at the seams at around 800 000 strong, made for an unbelievable atmosphere which really motivated our African team.
Each of our riders put in strong rides with our Briton Steve Cummings storming home in an exceptional time of 15’28” over the 13.8km course. Steve‘s time would be good enough for 10th on the day, an exceptional performance against 198 of the best riders in the world.
Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing), the former world hour record holder took the stage win and yellow jersey ahead of multiple world time trial champions, Tony Martin (Etixx-Quickstep) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) respectively.
Steve Cummings – Rider
It was a super day. Physically the effort was good but I also never really felt composed. I don’t know, I think it was possibly the occasion that got to me a bit and I messed up a lot of corners, well pretty much every corner actually. But having said that, to come to the biggest bike race in the world it is great for the team to see we can all make mistakes but are able to compete with the best in the world. It was my goal to really deliver something good today for that reason, to give the team a bit of a lift and some confidence. Unfortunately it wasn’t as good as I hoped but I think it was still pretty good to be honest.
Jens Zemke – Head of Performance
I think we can be really proud and really happy with the result we achieved. A top 10 in the opening stage is what we wanted, it was what we were trying to achieve and Steve did. The crowd was also amazing being at the Tour de France for the first time, so Steve finishing 10th is beautiful.