Teunissen is reconverted to triumph in the land of Merckx

The Groenewegen pitcher took advantage of his leader's fall to win the stage and wear the first yellow jersey. Fuglsang suffered a hard accident.

The 176 cyclists who have taken the start of the Tour de France 2019 have the high bar, the responsibility of placing themselves at the level of the history of a mythical race, of those 100 years of the yellow jersey that will be fulfilled on July 19, of that 50th anniversary of the first victory of the largest, Eddy Merckx, and, if we rise to the summits of the climbers, of those 60 years since the triumph of Federico Martín Bahamontes, the dean of the Tour's living winners. The next day 9 will fulfill 91. Eternal Fede.

Esa eternity of the Tour was staged this Saturday in Brussels, in a weekend that gives tribute to Merckx. A city and a sport at your feet. The Cannibal already ran on these roads in his first participation in the Grande Boucle, and also traveled through Woluwe-Saint Pierre, the municipality where his father had opened a grocery store, where the best cyclist of all time began to ride in bicycle to pedal to infinity.

I had to be up to it. And that's how everyone understood it, but especially the Belgians. Greg van Avermaet, one of the great clasicosmanos of the current platoon, looked for the break to crown the Muro de Grammont, which was also promoted in that 1969. In the lead then Merckx, would miss more, and Roger de Vlaeminck, four times winner of the Paris-Roubaix. Van Avermaet took the witness of his illustrious compatriots with a fixation: to get on the podium as first leader of the Mountain. In honor of Eddy.

Then there was a section of pavés, also very Belgian. The Bora team squeezed on that cobblestone Thiméon, so that Peter Sagan dominated the intermediate sprint, with the challenge still far from his seventh green jersey in Paris. Another cyclist with Merckx spirit. That acceleration broke the group into several pieces, but it did not surprise almost any favorite, at least none of the main ones. And the scuffle did not prosper.

The pure ingredients of the classics were mixed with the classic ingredients of the Tour. 18km from the finish line, when the peloton is already packed and does not wait for stragglers, Jakob Fuglsang suffered a hard fall. The bets place the Danish as the third favorite, despite his 34 years and not having tasted any podium in a great round. In the current season is one of the best, that's why it is high. With his bloodied and visibly bruised face, he managed to link with the help of his Astana companions. In honor of the history of the Tour. We'll see how those wounds evolve in the days to come, but you can not get down in the land of Merckx.

It was not the only accident. Less than two kilometers, already in the technical zone, there was a tremendous montonera. There was Dylan Groenewegen, one of the candidates for the sprint. And that gave the opportunity of his life to his pitcher, Mike Teunissen, who came back by a tubular to Sagan. It was 30 years ago, from Erik Breukink, that a Dutchman did not wear the yellow jersey. The garment was imposed by Merckx on the Brussels podium, in neighboring Belgium, paradoxes of sport, after an uncertain and vibrant end, worthy of the 106 editions of an illustrious race that never forgets its champions.

Photos from as.com
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