Yves Lampaert takes Tour de France first yellow jersey

Yves Lampaert takes Tour de France first yellow jersey

Yves Lampaert stormed to victory on stage 1 of the Tour de France, a flat but rain-soaked 13.2km individual time trial, beating a host of specialists on his way to the prestigious Tour de France yellow jersey and making it five years in a row that a Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider has worn the iconic tunic.

“It’s incredible, I didn’t expect this and I don’t understand how it happened. I was thinking of a top 10, those were my expectations at the start, but somehow I managed to beat the best riders in the world. I’m just a farmer’s son from Belgium, so this is something I would have never dreamed of. My mind is exploding”, a teary-eyed Yves said in disbelief after the biggest victory of his career.

Rain was expected during the day, but to the surprise of many it didn’t come towards the end of the stage, but instead impacted the early starters, among whom were also many of the GC favourites. Yves Lampaert was in the last third of the start list, and benefitted from some slightly dryer roads, which allowed him to put in the performance of a lifetime on the streets of the Danish capital.

Despite not being the fastest at the only intermediate checkpoint, the 31-year-old former Belgian ITT Champion ramped up the tempo in the last seven kilometers and finished with the best time after a stunning ride on the second part of the course, stopping the clock in 15:17.

Having averaged over 51.8km/h on his Specialized Shiv machine – the only rider to break this barrier – Yves improved the provisional time by five seconds and went straight into the hot seat, where he remained until the very end, when he let all his emotions overcome him before collapsing into the arms of the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl staff.

“To beat all these guys today is unbelievable for me! The roads were wet, and I kept saying to myself on the corners ‘Yves, go faster, trust in your tires or you’ll lose seconds in the corners’, and in the end I finished five seconds faster. I think I’ll only realise what I have done after the Tour, when I’ll return to my family. I can be proud of myself, but while on the podium I thought of the whole team and especially of Tim Declercw. He’s my best friend, but he’s home now and I miss him. I’m so happy with this victory and honoured to wear the yellow jersey”, added Yves, the 18th different rider in the history of the Wolfpack to win a Tour de France stage, after helping Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl become the first team in the current peloton to get a victory at ten consecutive editions.

 

Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images

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