"Aim was to keep our leaders Matteo Jorgenson and Sepp Kuss well in front and we succeeded" - Job done for Visma on Dauphine's opening stage

With little to no general classification ramifications on the opening day of the 2024 Criterium du Dauphine, Team Visma | Lease a Bike's leadership duo Matteo Jorgenson and Sepp Kuss were kept safely away from any potential drama.

“I am satisfied that we all crossed the line safely,” the younger of the two Americans and Paris-Nice winner, Matteo Jorgenson says in a press release to Team Visma | Lease a Bike's official website post-stage. “There was very hard riding in the finale, but fortunately it remained safe. It wasn't an overly tough opening stage of this race, but there is still a lot to come in the coming week.”

“This was a stage as we expected. It was up to the sprinters' teams to take control in the peloton, so we didn't have to take the initiative," adds Team Visma | Lease a Bike's sports director, Frans Maassen. "Our aim was to keep our leaders Jorgenson and Sepp Kuss well in front and we succeeded with verve. There are still a lot of important stages to come in this Dauphiné. The final weekend is very tough. There we definitely want to play our part in the general classification.”

In the end, victory on the opening stage went to Mads Pedersen with the Dane sprinting to the win ahead of Sam Bennett in the finale. The Dane will wear the Maillot Jaune on tomorrow's stage 2, but with a more testing and potentially general classification day ahead on Monday it is unlikely the Lidl-Trek powerhouse will be able to retain overall race lead, with the likes of Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic among the pre-stage favourites. Could either of the Visma leadership duo, Jorgenson or Kuss attempt to land the first blow in the fight for victory at the Dauphine? Only time will tell.

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