Cavendish 'heart-broken' at Tour de France snub

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"I didn't know until I was told that I could take the yellow jersey because I was the fourth guy to cross the line but in the end we lost by 20 seconds - it's not so close in the end", Moscon said later.

Tour de France GC contender Jakob Fuglsang said he will carry on in the despite a heavy crash in Saturday's opening stage that left him bloodied and bruised.

The only team riding faster than Ineos on Sunday was the Dutch outfit Jumbo-Visma, which covered the 27.6-kilometre course in 28 minutes, 58 seconds, keeping the yellow jersey on Mike Teunissen's shoulders.

Thomas was involved in a mass pile-up in the closing stages but appeared okay.

Four-time victor Chris Froome, due to be a teammate of Ineos rider and British compatriot Thomas, misses out after suffering multiple fractures in a crash last month.

"It was a positive day for sure."

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This was just the second time that Le Tour has started in Brussels, which first staged the Grand Depart in 1958.

The 26-year-old Jumbo-Visma rider becomes the first yellow-jersey holder on the 2019 Tour and the first Dutchman to lead the race in 30 years.

Sagan, cycling's answer to a Hollywood superstar, has no such quandry and will be targeting Saturday's 194-km opening stage which will likely end in a bunch sprint in Brussels.

Even without Froome - the dominant Grand Tour rider in recent years and an expert in the race against the clock - Ineos was still able to replicate its result from last year's team time trial.

"Tomorrow everything is shifting quickly because we have again a big goal, hopefully, if Dylan is okay and hopefully I can recover a bit and then we go full gas to help Stevie (Kruijswijk) for a good position, another big target". "We'll see how it goes tomorrow". It's a dream come true.

After two days in Belgium the race moves into France on Monday with a 215-km trek from Binche to Epernay when Teunissen, 10 seconds ahead, will be confident of retaining the overall lead.

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