All talk of defending champion Chris Froome and his Sky team not being as strong this year were blown out the window after the first stage of the Tour de France in Dusseldorf.
The Sky squad were super impressive with Geraint Thomas taking the stage and four riders in the top eight. But it was Froome who was the big winner on the day taking big chunks of time out of his main rivals for the overall title.
There was definitely a huge shift in momentum after one of the most dangerous opening stages in the history of the Tour. And the biggest loser was Tasmanian Richie Porte. I expected Richie to take time out Froome after his commanding performance at the Criterium du Duphine but he rode too conservatively and lost 35 seconds to Froome.
To be fair it was super treacherous out there with the wet roads more akin to a skating rink than a bike course
Porte followed team mate Nicolas Roche in the team car before his own ride and, in hindsight, it didn’t help. He watched him crash which probably caused him to be over cautious with his own ride.
Richie Porte can still win this Tour but the dynamic has changed. There are now no questions being asked about Froome or Sky and a few to be answered by Richie.
Alejandro Valverde crashing out of the tour will make it a lot tougher for his Movistar team mate Nairo Quintana to win this race. Having the two genuine overall contenders on the one team was going to be a brilliant card to play in the mountains.
Michael Matthews put it on the line and lost only 20 seconds. It leaves him close enough to have a chance to snatch the yellow jersey over the next few days if he can gain enough time bonuses in the sprints.
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