Israel Start-Up Nation had a challenging start to its second Tour de France with numerous riders caught up in the two big pileups on the last part of the opening stage.
The first big crash occurred with just over 40 km left to go, as a spectator went onto the road, causing the majority of the peloton to come to an immediate halt. Several ISN riders got caught up in the crash but they all managed to get back on their bikes to continue the stage.
Unfortunately, in the hectic run-in towards the uphill finish, another big crash hit the peloton. Once again, numerous ISN riders went down, this time with a much bigger impact.
Ultimately, all the ISN riders finished the stage with Tour de France debutant Guillaume Boivin as the team’s best finisher in 31st place, while our designated GC contender, Michael Woods, lost nearly nine minutes on the race leader.
After the stage, Reto Hollenstein and Chris Froome were taken for further check-ups at the hospital. An update on their condition will be given via the team’s channels when more information is available.
Guillaume Boivin: ”My teammates had told me that the first day would be hectic and they were right on the money on that one. For sure, it’s not ideal to start a Grand Tour like this but we also have to remember that this is a three week race. Dan [Martin] didn’t go down today and that’s a good thing. Hopefully, Mike [Woods] can recover so we still have options when we reach the mountains later on. It’s hard to start out a race like this, but this is our job. We have to put this behind us and look forward. There is still a lot of racing to come.”