Kuss and Jumbo-Visma survive the first stage of the Tour de France


Sepp Kuss avoided some of the carnage during the Tour de France’s first stop on Saturday in Nice, France. One of his teammates was not so lucky.Kuss crossed the finish line in 41st and was credited with the same finish time as stage winner Alexander Kristoff of Norway. The time through the 97-mile opening was 3 hours, 46 minutes, 23 seconds. Kuss stayed with team managers Primož Roglic and Tom Dumoulin, who finished 39th and 41st respectively.

“For me, going through these stages without any problem is all I can ask for,” Kuss said in a post-race interview with NBC Sports.

It was a wet course on Saturday after a few first rains. Tony Martin, Kuss Jumbo-Visma’s teammate, went to the front and urged the peloton to slow down and stay in control for the safety of all riders. Shortly after, Jumbo-Visma runner George Bennett, one of the strongest climbers on the team along with Kuss, crashed onto the sidewalk on his left shoulder after making contact with a runner.

Bennett, from New Zealand, was able to complete the stage to advance to stage 2 on Sunday, but he was 166th and 5:14 behind.

“It was really crazy, rainy and I think a lot of teams, we decided to slow down the pace on the descents once the break was taken and not to take too many risks. Even without the race, there were still so many accidents today. It was really nervous. We are happy to leave OK. … Quite wild.

Jumbo-Visma driver Wout van Aert also crashed, but recovered well to finish 35th. The bosses of the Jumbo-Visma team have indicated that everything will be OK to continue the Tour on Sunday.

Sunday will be a difficult test early on for the riders with climbs of the Col de la Colmiane and the Col de Tuini, with scores of 7.4%. The stage will cover 115 ½ miles.

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