fi'zi:k's Thomas retains Yellow Jersey

The first weekend of the Tour de France with fi’zi:k

Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas, aboard his fi’zi:k Arione R1 saddle and powered by his fi’zi:k R1B shoes, retained the maillot jaune on Sunday’s stage two of the 104th Tour de France despite hitting tarmac on another wet day in northern Europe. Marcel Kittel won the sprint, holding off FDJ’s Arnaud Demare (fi’zi:k Arione VS saddle) in second and third-placed Andre Greipel. Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data and fi’zi:k saddles) looked impressive in fourth after a long period out due to glandular fever.

It proved a dramatic day for race leader Thomas as the 31-year-old hit the deck with around 30km until the Liège finish. The large crash also took out Tour favorites Chris Froome (fi’zi:k Antares Full Carbon) and Romain Bardet (fi’zi:k Arione VSX) but, thankfully, all three emerged unscathed.

‘We were all in a decent position, top 10, top 15, coming into a roundabout and a couple of guys crashed,’ Thomas said in Belgium. ‘When it’s like that, you’ve got nowhere to go really but we were all OK, all back up pretty quickly.’

After the sodden first stage in Düsseldorf, where Thomas won the 14km time-trial to become the first Welshman to wear the yellow jersey, rain once again provided the backdrop on Sunday’s 203.5km stage from Düsseldorf to Liège.

A group of four broke early, including Cannondale-Drapac’s Taylor Phinney (fi’zi:k saddles), and were the first to face the opening climb of this year’s Tour 6.5km in – a ‘gentle’ category-four ascent of the Cote de Grafenberg. Phinney grabbed maximum points that’d ultimately give him the honour of wearing the polka-dot jersey. In fact, Phinney was in the lead with less than 1.5km to go before the peloton – and Kittel – consumed him.

Monday’s third stage starts in Luxembourg (Verviers) before finishing in Longwy, France, 212.5km later.

Meanwhile, on the dirt (and in hot, dry conditions in contrast to the road action) in Andorra, it was another successful round of the UCI Downhill World Cup for the Santa Cruz Syndicate team. Greg Minnaar, on his fi’z:k Gobi saddle, was a whicker ff top-spot, finishing 0.22 seconds down to take second step on the podium. And a strong ride by young Frenchman Loris Vergier taking 6th place.