Robert has come through the fast first stage of the Tour de la Provence unscathed. Team Jumbo-Visma directed by sports directors Jan Boven and Sierk-Jan de Haan finished the flat stage from Châteaurenard to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in the peloton.
The stage was animated by a breakaway of four riders who created a maximum lead of almost three minutes. It was a race against the clock for the peloton to catch them, but they succeeded in the last three kilometres. Maarten Wynants tried to bring Pascal Eenkhoorn into position for the sprint, but in the end, the young Dutchman came up short.
“Our plan was to get through the first stage without any problems”, Sports director Jan Boven explained. “That worked out. It was a really fast stage. We knew that in the last sixty kilometres the race was going through terrain that could yield echelons and that we had to be prepared. In the end, there wasn’t enough wind to pull it apart. We then tried to get through the stage as economically as possible with an eye on the next three tough mountain stages.”