Staying in Belgium for stage 2, riders took to the streets of Brussels for a second time for a Team Time Trial. Starting from the Palais Royale, the 27.6km route took place over a rolling parcours, and while the profile wouldn’t trouble the riders too much, the terrain would stop the day being about all-out speed, while strong bike-handling skills would be needed both to negotiate the twists and turns as well as the street furniture as the race moved into the city. Teams would have to stay together, riding carefully to avoid losing too much time, as even at this early stage, any time gaps could prove pivotal in the GC race. Going out of the start gate fifteenth of twenty-two teams, BORA-hansgrohe would have an idea of the times they would have to beat, with the faster finishers coming in in less than thirty minutes. Rolling down the start ramp on custom-painted Roval 321 wheels, the team looked relaxed and rode strategically and efficiently to conserve their energy over the long course, with Peter Sagan wearing the familiar green jersey by virtue of his being second in the points contest. Coming through the first checkpoint in 14:15, this put the team in the top half of the field. Keeping an eye on their rivals’ times and not allowing the sight of the famous Atomium on the horizon to push them into the red by pushing too hard, they crossed the line in a time of 29:44. This put the BORA-hansgrohe riders into sixth on the road, and with all the teams in, the squad took twelfth on the stage, forty-six seconds down on the stage winners.
1 Jumbo-Visma 28:57
2 Team Ineos +0:20
3 Deceuninck-Quickstep +0:21
12 BORA – hansgrohe +0:46
Photo © BORA – hansgrohe / Bettiniphoto