"On the first stage you can not win a tour, but lose it," is an old wisdom in cycling. Also, there have already been countless examples in cycling, which just prove that statement.
So it is always important to focus on the kick-off stage in a focused manner, if you want to have a say in the overall ranking in the end. If then even rains - as in yesterday's first stage of the Tour of Ireland - it means even more: watch out!
This is not always so easy, because then often confusing racing situations arise and in Ireland are only five riders per team at the start, which further complicates to react all the time or follow all attacks. So it came down to the fact that the boys of the BIKE AID Procycling Team had to put a lot of effort already after a missed break-away consisting of 10 men in order not to have to throw all goals overboard at the end of day 1.
The gap was already at1:45 min when BIKE AID took control of the chase as no other team took responsibility. So it was then 5 riders chasing vs. 10 in the front. In the end one can be satisfied, that the leading group arrived "only" with 23 seconds and thus all chances are maintained.
Pictures: Sean Rowe and BIKE AID