Tour de France - Stage two: Brussels Palais Royale - Brussels Atomium, 27.6km

Team INEOS enjoyed a strong outing on the stage two team time trial at the Tour de France, finishing second in Brussels.

The team were first down the ramp in the Belgian capital and set an opening benchmark time of 29 minutes and 18 seconds. That marker held up well, as 20 teams tried and failed to finish quicker across a fast power course.

With the team waiting on the hot seats, it was Jumbo-Visma who crossed the line last, taking victory on the day by a margin of 20 seconds. 

Despite missing out on the stage victory, the day proved to be a successful one as both Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal climbed the general classification, taking key time out of a number of contenders. 

Without the benefit of knowing the time splits of their rivals, the team set a consistent pace across the course. Luke Rowe and then Wout Poels emptied the tank before pulling off, with Michal Kwiatkowski following suit on the finish straight. Thomas led the team in, flanked by Bernal, Gianni Moscon, Jonathan Castroviejo and Dylan van Baarle.

The result moves half of the team up into the top 10 overall, with Bernal and Thomas sitting 30 seconds behind continued race leader Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma).
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Reaction

- Geraint Thomas

"It was quite good going off first as your judgment on how the ride went isn’t skewed by the result, but I felt it was good.

"Looking at GC, it’s a good performance, but obviously we wanted to win. I think 20 seconds [to Jumbo-Visma] is a big enough gap to know a few mistakes didn’t cost us the stage win. It was a positive day for sure.

"I have no injury issues, I was going pretty slow when I hit the barriers yesterday - I'm absolutely fine."

- Egan Bernal

"I think we did a really good TTT and it was really nice to be in the hot seat. We took some time on some good GC riders today so it was perfect for us. I felt really good in the stage - the feeling was better than last year in the TTT. I can be happy with that because I'm not a specialist and I was doing the TT with some strong guys. It was difficult but I felt good.

"I'm happy to be through these first two stages. In a Grand Tour you have to go day by day. I'm already thinking about tomorrow."

- Nicolas Portal

"Fantastic. This morning everyone was nervous. We’ve always done well in the TTT at the Tour but we’ve never won it. It’s day two so if you’re not too sure, you can lose time. We were pretty confident but you never know, and it’s a stressful day. 

"At the end we’ve just been beaten by one team. We are a GC team and the guys have been working hard at climbing. They are all good time triallists but they’ve been working hard to become super climbers. So, for a climbing team, that’s a really good result."
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What's Next?

The action heads back into a France on stage three, but despite the largely flat profile it's far from a straightforward sprint day. Three short categorised climbs are packed into the final 40km, meaning the Classics men and punchy sprinters will come to the fore. Expect another nervy run-in and battles for position.
Stage two result
 
1. Jumbo-Visma 28’57”
2. Team INEOS +20”
3. Deceuninck-Quick Step +21”
4. Team Sunweb +26”
5. Katusha Alpecin s.t.
 
Overall Standings
 
1. Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) 4:51:34
2. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +10”
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) s.t.
4. Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) s.t.
5. George Bennett ((Jumbo-Visma) s.t.
6. Gianni Moscon (Team INEOS)+30”
7. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) s.t.
8. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) 
9. Dylan van Baarle (Team INEOS)

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