The Tour de France has officially arrived in France and after the first three stages, Israel – Premier Tech is taking confidence from the team’s performance during the Grand Départ in the Basque Country.

The toughest start to the race for many years saw Mike Woods and Dylan Strongs test their legs alongside the peloton’s best in the first two climbing stages with Mike crossing the line in 5th place on stage one and the IPT duo making it two in the top-ten on stage two with 6th and 8th respectively.

So far, so good says IPT Sports Manager Rik Verbrugghe.

We can be very happy with our performance in the first few stages. Mike and Dylan really showed they are in good shape and as a team, we were racing really well in the Basque Country. It was a tough start but the good thing was that it really calmed the nerves in those first two stages as often we see a really nervous peloton when the first yellow jersey is won in a sprint. We are motivated to continue racing as we have been,” explained Verbrugghe.

Teuns and Woods, who is no stranger to success in the Basque Country, are happy with their shape in the first days at the Tour.

I’m quite happy with the start to the race. Certainly, really pleased with the legs. The goal is to get a stage win here so I hope we can continue this momentum and can get one in the next three weeks,” said Woods.

I expected a bigger group yesterday to be contesting the stage yesterday so it really shows how hard the first two stages were. I am happy with my performance. I had good legs, I was up there, and I can take confidence out of it. My form is on point and we only have to target good stages for us and hopefully will get a good result,” added Teuns.

After two stages for the climbers, stage three was a chance for the sprinters and the first opportunity for Tour de France debutant Corbin Strong to test his legs in the chaos of the bunch sprint. Ultimately, he crossed the line in 16th place, with an aim to build on his first experience.

It was a pretty chaotic finale,” said Strong. “As we expected it was full gas the last 10 kilometers or so. I did an alright job at getting myself in the right position with the help of the team. In the end, it wasn’t a good result but it was a good experience to get my first big Grand Tour bunch sprint under my belt. Hopefully, I can do better in the next ones.”