What's Cool In Road Cycling

Le TOUR’20 Stage 1: Kristoff Looks Nice in Yellow!

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Stage Report: The first stage of the 2020 Tour de France was said to be one for the sprinters, what no one predicted was the weather. The day was no damp squib with crashes galore and a big bunch finish. One of the oldest men in the peloton, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) took the win ahead of World champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo). Sunweb’s Cees Bol was third.

tour20 st1
Stage and yellow for Kristoff

  to watch the 2020 Tour de France live and on demand in Canada, with exclusive interviews, expert analysis from Mike Woods & Svein Tuft, and a host of other behind-the-scenes content available worldwide. Plus, join others in playing the Tour de France fantasy cycling game, only on FloBikes in the United States and Canada.**

tour 20 Nizzolo
New European champion, Giacomo Nizzolo – Not his day

Stage 1 Route:
Christian Prudhomme described the stage: “A rather unfamiliar format perfect for a great popular show: three loops in the hinterland of Nice including one to be covered twice giving the spectators an opportunity to see the pack go by all along the day before possibly witnessing the first act of the great battle between the sprinters. A bunched sprint is indeed expected at the end of the long final straight on the Promenade des Anglais.”

tdf20st1
Stage 1 profile

tour20 st1 nice
Nice place for the start and finish

Two months late, but the 2020 Tour de France got under way on Saturday afternoon in Nice. It didn’t take long for the first break of the day to make its move. Frenchman Fabien Grellier (Total Direct Energy), forced clear a leading group of three. Grellier was accompanied by fellow countryman Cyril Gautier (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) and the Swiss rider Michael Schär (CCC). The three soon had a lead of more than two minutes.

tour20 nice
The peloton leaving Nice

Because of the rain and the slippery conditions there were many crashes. On the first passage through Nice, Sam Bennett, Marc Soler and Domenico Pozzovivo all hit the ground on the Promenade des Anglais. Miguel Ángel López also had to be brought back up to the peloton by his teammates from Astana.

tour20 st1
The day was occasionally dry

After 50 kilometres, came the first mountain points. Grellier won the sprint at the top of the Côte de Rimiez, a Cat 3 climb. The peloton did not let the three get too away too far, and their lead remained around 1:30.

tour20 break
The break of the day

Pavel Sivakov was another riders who crashed heavily. The Russian was injured and struggled to get back. Then it was the turn of Julian Alaphilippe, physically he was unhurt, but he needed more than one bike change. Tom Dumoulin was also forced to chase, but managed to reconnect a little later.

tour20 nice
A wet day in the South of France

After Sivakov fell for a second time, there was another big crash going through Nice. Richie Porte, Mikel Nieve and Andrey Amador were among the riders who touched the tarmac. The next crash saw Caleb Ewan and Jumbo-Visma riders Robert Gesink and Sepp Kuss on the ground. New Euro champ Giacomo Nizzolo also went down.

tour20 stage 1
The break didn’t go all the way

During the second climb of the Côte de Rimiez, Grellier was dropped and Gautier and Schär extended their lead to 2:30 on the peloton. In the battle for the mountain points, Schär started the sprint early, and took full points, but it was soon all over for the escapees. A regrouping followed 54 kilometres from the finish. Schär would later be awarded the prize for most combatitive rider.

tour 20
Dangerous descents

The pace dropped for the peloton due to the dangerous condition. Tony Martin urged the peloton to calm down, after which the riders continued the ride side by side. This did not mean the crashes were over. Astana took the initiative again on the dangerous descent of the Turini, this was a big mistake as Miguel Ángel López skidded and hit a post, but luckily was able to continue.

tour20 samchez
Sanchez in his new Spanish champs kit

The riders of the Kazakh team were told to take it easy by the others, including Primoz Roglic. Despite the calmness in the peloton, riders kept falling. George Bennett of Jumbo-Visma fell just before a tight bend and lost contact with the peloton and had to chase.

tour20 pinot
A less than happy Thibaut Pinot

In the end there was still a race. Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale) went on a solo attack, which was short-lived. With 13 kilometres to go, he was caught up by the peloton. The GC teams formed trains to bring their leaders to the line in safety. After the overall time was taken at 3 kilometre point, the sprinter teams took over.

tour20 st1 sprint
Kristoff had the strength and experience

A big crash then caused the peloton to split. The French Tour hope Thibaut Pinot was among the victims. In the battle for the day win, Sam Bennett was brought to the front by Deceuninck – Quick-Step teammate Mørkøv, but it was the strong Norwegian Kristoff who held off the World champ Dane; Mads Pedersen. Tour debutant Cees Bol finished third. Kristoff was very pleased to take the yellow jersey after his fourth Tour stage victory. He is the second Norwegian ever to wear the yellow along with Thor Hushovd.

tour20 st1 kristoff
A big wet win for Kristoff

Tomorrow the Tour takes a different route in the Nice area. There is a lot of climbing with two Cat 1 cols on the menu.

Stage winner and overall leader, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): “It’s a dream to wear the yellow jersey, I don’t think you can ask for anything better. The team came here to aim for the General Classification and some sprint stages. I was hoping, but I didn’t think I would win so early. Today I was riding well and I was able to give my best on the final straight, realizing that I was in the frame for a win. I stayed in the wheels for a while, coming out on the right in the final and, when I realized it was the right moment, I pushed hard. In the past few months I haven’t been able to give my best and I also crashed at the European Championships, so being here celebrating is a great feeling.”

Tour de France Stage 1 Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff Nor) UAE-Team Emirates in 3:46:23
2. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
3. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb
4. Sam Bennett (Ire) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Peter Sagan (Slo) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
8. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept p/b KTM
9. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie
10. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
11. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
12. Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC
13. Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
14. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
15. Hugo Houle (Can) Astana
16. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling
17. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
18. Connor Swift (GB) Arkea-Samsic
19. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
20. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
21. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC
22. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
23. Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain-McLaren
24. Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
25. Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 1:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates in 3:46:13
2. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:04
3. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb at 0:06
4. Sam Bennett (Ire) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:10
5. Peter Sagan (Slo) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
8. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels – Vital Concept p/b KTM
9. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie
10. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
11. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
12. Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team
13. Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
14. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
15. Hugo Houle (Can) Astana
16. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling
17. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
18. Connor Swift (GB) Arkea-Samsic
19. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
20. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
21. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC
22. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
23. Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain-McLaren
24. Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
25. Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates.

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.