Tour de France: Alexander Kristoff wins crash-marred stage 1 – Cyclingnews.com

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Team UAE Emirates rider Norways Alexander Kristoff celebrates as he crosses the finish line of the 1st stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 156 km between Nice and Nice on August 29 2020 Photo by Thibault Camus POOL AFP Photo by THIBAULT CAMUSPOOLAFP via Getty Images

Alexander Kristoff celebrates as he crosses the finish line of the 1st stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Alexander Kristoff NOR UAE Team Emirates photo POOL Vincent KalutPNBettiniPhoto2020

Norway’s Alexander Kristoff of Team UAE Emirates crosses the finish line to win 1st stage (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Alexander Kristoff NOR UAE Team Emirates Peter Sagan SVK Bora Hansgrohe Mads Pedersen DEN Trek Segafredo Giacomo Nizzolo ITA NTT Pro Cycling Cees Bol NED Team Sunweb photo POOL Vincent KalutPNBettiniPhoto2020

Team UAE Emirates rider Norway’s Alexander Kristoff celebrates as he crosses the finish line of the 1st stage (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Alexander Kristoff NOR UAE Team Emirates photo POOL Vincent KalutPNBettiniPhoto2020

Alexander Kristoff of UAE Team Emirates dons first yellow jersey of 2020 Tour de France (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Alexander Kristoff NOR UAE Team Emirates photo POOL David StockmanBelgaBettiniPhoto2020

Norwegian Alexander Kristoff of UAE Team Emirates celebrates on podium after stage 1 win (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Alexander Kristoff NOR UAE Team Emirates photo POOL David StockmanBelgaBettiniPhoto2020

Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) takes award and flowers for winning stage 1 in Nice (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Team GroupamaFDJ rider Frances Thibaut Pinot C lies on the ground after a crash during the 1st stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 156 km between Nice and Nice on August 29 2020 Photo by AnneChristine POUJOULAT AFP Photo by ANNECHRISTINE POUJOULATAFP via Getty Images

Crash with 3km to go on stage 1 has Team Groupama-FDJ rider France’s Thibaut Pinot (L) on the ground next Team Sunweb rider Switzerland’s Marc Hirschi (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Thibaut Pinot FRA Groupama FDJ photo POOL Vincent KalutPNBettiniPhoto2020

Crash in peloton with 3km to go in stage 1 put Thibaut Pinot (Groupama – FDJ) on the deck, as evidenced by torn jersey at finish line (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Fabien Grellier of France and Team Total Direct Energie Cyril Gautier of France and Team BB Hotels Vital Concept Michael Schar of Switzerland and CCC Team Breakaway Rain during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

The early breakaway: Michael Schär (CCC Team), Cyril Gautier (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) and Fabien Grellier (Total-Direct Energie) (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Mechanical Problem during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Julian Alaphilippe waits for his team car during Tour de France stage 1 in Nice (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Imanol Erviti ESP Movistar Team photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2020

Imanol Erviti of Movistar Team drops from peloton for wheel change (Image credit: Bettini Image)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Michael Schar SUI CCC Team photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2020

Stage 1 break led by Michael Schar of CCC Team (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Nairo Quintana COL Team Arkea Samsic photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2020

Colombian Nairo Quintana (Team Arkea Samsic) in the peloton before the rain soaked roads (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Team Deceuninck rider Frances Julian Alaphilippe waits for support during the 1st stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 156 km between Nice and Nice on August 29 2020 Photo by AnneChristine POUJOULAT AFP Photo by ANNECHRISTINE POUJOULATAFP via Getty Images

Julian Alaphilippe waits for service at Tour de France stage 1 in Nice (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Alexander Kristoff NOR UAE Team Emirates Peter Sagan SVK Bora Hansgrohe Sam Bennett IRL Deceuninck Quick Step Giacomo Nizzolo ITA NTT Pro Cycling Cees Bol NED Team Sunweb photo POOL Vincent KalutPNBettiniPhoto2020

Peloton charges to finish of stage 1 in Nice (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Pavel Sivakov of Russia and Team INEOS Grenadiers during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Pavel Sivakov during the opening stage at the Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Giacomo Nizzolo ITA NTT Pro Cycling photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2020

Italian sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo of NTT Pro Cycling sits in the peloton during stage 1 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Tadej Pogacar SLO UAE Team Emirates photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2020

Tadej Pogacar of UAE-Team Emirates rides an early climb in peloton (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Pavel Sivakov RUS Team Ineos photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2020

Russian Pavel Sivakov of Team Ineos rides in peloton before his pair of crashes (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Peter Sagan SVK Bora Hansgrohe Matej Mohoric SLO Bahrain McLaren photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2020

Peter Sagan of Bora-Hansgrohe on stage 1 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Ben Hermans BEL Israel StartUp Nation photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2020

Ben Hermans of Israel Start-Up Nation on stage 1 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Giacomo Nizzolo ITA NTT Pro Cycling photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2020

Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) riding early on stage 1 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Elia Viviani of Italy and Team Cofidis Solutions Credits Marco Marcato of Italy and UAE Team Emirates Steff Cras of Belgium and Team Lotto Soudal Winner Andrew Anacona of Colombia and Team Arkea Samsic Peloton Fans Public during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Tour de France stage 1 in Nice (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Nices mayor Christian Estrosi 2nd L pose next to his wife Laura Tenoudji L Princess Charlene of Monaco 2nd R and Prince Albert II of Monaco at the start of the 1st stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 156 km between Nice and Nice on August 29 2020 Tour De France 1st stage start and finish line on the Promenade des Anglais will allow just 100 spectators Photo by Kenzo Tribouillard AFP Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARDAFP via Getty Images

Nices mayor Christian Estrosi 2nd L pose next to his wife Laura Tenoudji L Princess Charlene of Monaco 2nd R and Prince Albert II of Monaco at the start of the 1st stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 156 km between Nice and Nice on August 29 2020 Tour De France 1st stage start and finish line on the Promenade des Anglais will allow just 100 spectators Photo by Kenzo Tribouillard AFP Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARDAFP via Getty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Start Christian Estrosi of France Mayor of Nice and his wife Laura Tenoudji of France Mask Covid safety measures during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Start Christian Estrosi of France Mayor of Nice and his wife Laura Tenoudji of France Mask Covid safety measures during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Start Michael Morkov of Denmark and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Sam Bennett of Ireland and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia of Colombia and Team EF Pro Cycling Giacomo Nizzolo of Italy and NTT Pro Cycling Team Ryan Gibbons of South Africa and NTT Pro Cycling Team Mask Covid safety measures during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Riders take the start line for stage 1 at the 2020 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Start Egan Arley Bernal Gomez of Colombia and Team INEOS Grenadiers Nice City during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Egan Bernal at stage 1 at the 2020 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Team Jumbo rider Netherlands Tom Dumoulin compete during the 1st stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 156 km between Nice and Nice on August 29 2020 Photo by Marco Bertorello AFP Photo by MARCO BERTORELLOAFP via Getty Images

Tom Dumoulin at stage 1 at the 2020 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Start Egan Arley Bernal Gomez of Colombia and Team INEOS Grenadiers Nice City during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Egan Bernal at stage 1 at the 2020 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Start Peter Sagan of Slovakia and Team Bora Hansgrohe Press Media Social distancing Nice City during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Riders being interviewed ahead of stage 1 at the 2020 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Start Press Media Social distancing Nice City during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

The press area at the start of stage 1 at the 2020 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Start Giacomo Nizzolo of Italy and NTT Pro Cycling Team Nice City during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

European Champion Giacomo Nizzolo at stage 1 at the 2020 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Start Primoz Roglic of Slovenia and Team Jumbo Visma Nice City during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Primoz Roglic ahead of stage 1 at the 2020 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Start Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia of Colombia and Team EF Pro Cycling Mask Covid Safety Measures Nice City during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Start Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia of Colombia and Team EF Pro Cycling Mask Covid Safety Measures Nice City during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Start Tom Dumoulin of The Netherlands and Team Jumbo Visma Primoz Roglic of Slovenia and Team Jumbo Visma Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Remi Cavagna of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Peloton Nice City during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 Start Tom Dumoulin of The Netherlands and Team Jumbo Visma Primoz Roglic of Slovenia and Team Jumbo Visma Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Remi Cavagna of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Peloton Nice City during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Team GroupamaFDJ rider Frances Thibaut Pinot C rides during the 1st stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 156 km between Nice and Nice on August 29 2020 Photo by Marco Bertorello AFP Photo by MARCO BERTORELLOAFP via Getty Images

Thibaut Pinot at Tour de France stage 1 in Nice (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Kevin Ledanois (Arkea-Samsic) crashed in Nice

Kevin Ledanois (Arkea-Samsic) crashed in Nice (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Team Jumbo rider Netherlands Tom Dumoulin rides during the 1st stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 156 km between Nice and Nice on August 29 2020 Photo by AnneChristine POUJOULAT AFP Photo by ANNECHRISTINE POUJOULATAFP via Getty Images

Tom Dumoulin at Tour de France stage 1 in Nice (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Egan Bernal COL Team Ineos photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2020

2019 Tour de France champion Egan Bernal at Grand Depart for Ineos Grenadiers (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Egan Bernal COL Team Ineos photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2020

Egan Bernal of Ineos Grenadiers at Grand Départ in Nice (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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NICE FRANCE AUGUST 29 La Roquette sur Var 335m Landscape Peloton during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 1 a 156km stage from Nice Moyen Pays to Nice TDF2020 LeTour on August 29 2020 in Nice France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Twisting roads outside Nice for stage 1 made treacherous with rain (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) took stage 1 and the first yellow jersey on stage 1 of the 2020 Tour de France. The Norwegian won ahead of Mads Pedersen (Trek Segaredo) and Cees Bol (Sunweb) after a chaotic stage that was overshadowed by a run of crashes and bad weather. At one point the stage was neutralized by the riders, such was the high volume of falls on the slick roads around Nice.

Even after the racing resumed with 25km to go the falls continued with a major pile-up just inside the final 3km taking down several riders including French home Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ). All of the riders involved in the fall or held up were given the same time as the winner. However, the stage belonged to Kristoff who timed his sprint to perfection after a chaotic sprint.

The experienced rider had no results coming into the race and few picked him as a favourite for the sprints in this year’s Tour. However, he came through with a powerful sprint after Bol had taken the lead inside the final 100m.

Pedersen finished strongly after a good lead-out from his team, but the hesitation with 1,000m to go appeared to break the rhythm for several lead-out trains. Sam Bennett’s train eventually took control after some strong work from NTT Pro Cycling and Mitchelton-Scott but Kristoff picked the right wheel with Bol as several pre-race favourites either failed to deliver or faded before the line.

For Kristoff, this was another timely reminder of his almost eternal class. Every time he’s written off or passed over he delivers another key victory, and now after stage 1 of the Tour he’s made his race and that of UAE Team Emirates.
“I always dreamt about wearing the yellow jersey and now it’s a dream come true,” the Norwegian said.

“You can’t dream of a better start. We have a team of climbers and didn’t think of winning the sprints, at least not so early on but I felt really strong in the final kilometres and going to the line, I saw I’m going to win. It was an amazing feeling. I’m really proud of what I was able to do. The boys kept me safe during the stage but I was alone in the final kilometers. But I still found a good wheel. I was sitting on Sagan for a long time. Then I got boxed in but I saw Cees Bol starting on the right and tried to follow. I saw he was fading but I still had legs, so I went. It was an amazing moment for me.”

How it unfolded

The day’s break formed early on stage 1 with Michael Schar (CCC Team), Cyril Gautier (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) and Fabien Grellier (Total-Direct Energie) going clear in the opening kilometres.

The trio never really established a threatening lead in the race with Deceuninck-QuickStep and Lotto Soudal holding steady to their advantage at less than three minutes.

The stage came to life for all the wrong reasons when the rain began to fall, making the slick tarmac, tight roads and dangerous amounts of road paint all coming together to turn the course into an untraceable surface. Listing out the riders who didn’t crash would be easier, but almost every turn around the first ascent of the Côte de Rimiez found riders hitting the deck.

Nairo Quintana, Caleb Ewan, George Bennett, Tom Dumuolin, Wout Poels, Mikel Landa, and Sam Bennett were all among the early casualties but the worst hit were Pavel Sivakov and Julian Alaphilippe. 

The Ineos Grenadier rider hit the deck twice, once on each side, and was forced to go back to the medical car for assistance, while Alaphilippe fell once on the descent and went through two bike changes before eventually making contact with the peloton.

Even defending champion Egan Bernal was involved, although he was held up by a fall rather than hitting the deck himself. Sivakov’s second fall with around 70km to appeared to set of a chain reaction as the weather worsened with one fall on the outskirts of Nice taking down three Bahrain-McLaren riders, while another with 68km to go took Ilnur Zakarin, Andrey Amador, Richie Porte and Mikel Nieve.

Martin the marshal

On the second ascent of the Côte de Rimiez the break was quickly down to two riders with Grellier dropped with 62km to go. It took for the veteran rider Tony Martin to call the bunch to attention, raising his arms across the field after the rest of the break was caught just before the descent. Not everyone listened to their wise friend, with Astana deciding to race down the slick descent. It took for Ion Izagirre to ride sideways into a lamp post for sense to finally sink in. A word from Primoz Roglic into the ear of Omar Fraile seemed to help.

The slowed pace and the neutralization helped Ewan regain contact with the peloton, despite time checks suggesting that he had been six minutes in arrears. Yet still the falls came, even with the slower pace and the mood more relaxed. The wet roads took down George Bennett, with the Jumbo-Visma rider gingerly getting back to his feet.

With the race back on flat roads the riders collectively took it upon themselves to start racing again. with Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) attacked from the peloton and establishing a lead of 16 seconds with just under 25km to go.

Brief Results
Pos. Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 3:46:23
2 Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
3 Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb
4 Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quickstep
5 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
7 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
8 Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
9 Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie
10 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
General classification after stage 1
Pos. Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 3:46:13
2 Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:04
3 Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:06
4 Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:00:10
5 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
7 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
8 Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
9 Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie
10 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo

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