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TOUR’21 Stage 1: First Yellow to Alaphilippe!

Crash, bang... rainbow wins.

Stage Report: With a late attack on the rise to the finish line, the World champion, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), held on to his slim lead of 8 seconds for the first 2021 Tour stage win. Bad news was the two enormous crashes during the stage. Michael Matthews (BikeExchange) was second, Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) third.

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Stage 1 and yellow for the World champion

The first yellow jersey of the 2021 Tour de France goes to Julian Alaphilippe. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step World champ had the best legs on the difficult finish in Landerneau. Crashes marred the opening stage.

– Watch the final of Stage 1 here, and read our full report and pics below:

 

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Tour stage 1 profile

The Tour says: “Stage 1 of the 108th Tour de France is entirely held in the Finistère department, from Brest to nearby Landerneau, the home of Leclerc supermarkets that sponsor the polka dot jersey, passing through the elliptical bridge of Térénez, the Pentrez beach where Valentin Madouas spent a lot his childhood holidays, the charming historical village of Locronan, formerly an important centre for the manufacture of sail-cloth for ship-building, the city of Quimper and its famous cathedral, the Stang-Ar-Garront climb of Châteaulin that used to host France’s most renowned post-Tour criterium, the mountain of St-Michel-de-Brasparts and its chapel at the top… It’s quite scenic but also pretty demanding for the cyclists who will ride down from the Monts d’Arrée to Landerneau via a fast road. The technical run in to the côte de la Fosse aux Loups (literally the wolves’ pit) will make the finale a very competitive one. This is probably the stage with the highest number of favourites or contenders, from sprinters like Arnaud Démare and Caleb Ewan who hope to overcome the steep stretch with 2km to go to the GC riders like Tadej Pogačar, Primoz Roglič and Richard Carapaz. But the name of Mathieu van der Poel stands out as he’s touted to grab the yellow jersey his grand-father Raymond Poulidor never had – but his father Adri van der Poel got it for one day in 1984.”

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Three Tour winners – Pogačar, Froome and Thomas

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World champion and Tour winner – Alaphilippe and Pogačar

The 108th edition of the Tour de France got underway on Saturday afternoon with a hilly stage from Brest to Landerneau. With the finish on the Côte de la Fosse aux Loups (3km at 5.7%), all the eyes would be on Wout van Aert, Julian Alaphilippe and Mathieu van der Poel.

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No masks in France now

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It didn’t take long for the first attacks

The Alpecin-Fenix ​​team received permission from the UCI to wear a yellow/purple race kit in honour of Van der Poel’s grandfather Raymond Poulidor. The Frenchman, who died in 2019, finished eight times on the Tour podium during his career, but never wore the yellow jersey. With the special jersey on his shoulders, Van der Poel was keen to do better than his grandfather in his first participation.

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Many people’s favourite for the stage win and first yellow jersey – Van der Poel

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The fans were happy to see the Tour

Before we could see that explosion of power on the final climb, we first had to cover 194 kilometres. A leading group of six riders broke away from the peloton. Dutchmen Ide Schelling and Boy van Poppel, along with Cristian Rodriguez, Franck Bonnamour, Anthony Perez and (eventually) Connor Swift. Their maximum lead was never more than 4 minutes.

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Typical Breton village

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The original break of six

A few riders were looking for the KOM jersey, including Van Poppel and Schelling. Van Poppel took a point on the Côte de Rosnoën, Schelling did the same on the Côte de Locronan a little later. This was followed by two more fourth category climbs and a third category climb. To be sure of the mountain jersey, Schelling or Van Poppel had to come up first on the next two climbs.

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Tim Declercq (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) on the front as usual

The BORA-hansgrohe rider succeeded. On the Côte de Stang Ar Garront Schelling rode away from his fellow escapees. In no time, they would lose almost 3 minutes on the BORA rider and be caught by the peloton.

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Not many on the beach

Ide Schelling was doing well on his solo exploit. In the last 70 kilometres he grabbed the intermediate sprint in Brasparts and the mountain point on the Côte de Saint-Rivoal to bank in a lot of prize money and the first KOM jersey. His mission for the day was accomplished.

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Breton cobbles

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Cav happy to be in the 2021 Tour

A massive crash in the peloton ensured that Schelling being caught was postponed for a while. A spectator with a cardboard sign at the side of the road knocked Tony Martin off his bike and seventy other riders with him. Almost the entire Jumbo-Visma team came into contact with the asphalt, but many were able to return to the peloton without much visible damage. However, Jasha Sutterlin had to abandon.

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The first break of the 2021 Tour de France had a good lead, but it was never going to succeed

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Ide Schelling (BORA-hansgrohe) decided to go solo from the break

Calm returned within a few miles and Schelling’s escape then came to an end. With 25 kilometres to go, preparation for the Côte de la Fosse aux Loups started, with Alpecin-Fenix ​​and Deceuninck – Quick-Step leading the peloton.

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The peloton was not in a big hurry to catch Schelling – It would happen eventually

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Thanks to an idiot fan bringing down most of the peloton, Schelling’s lead went up to a minute and a half

At 5 kilometres from the final climb, disaster struck again. Another massive crash ensured that eighty riders were taken out of the battle for the stage victory, because this time the peloton wasn’t waiting.

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The peloton was together for the run-in to the finish – Jasha Sütterlin abandoned and Tony Martin was in trouble after the crash

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The second big crash saw many hit the road – Marc Hirschi was one

Alaphilippe, Van der Poel and Van Aert were among the 60 odd riders who avoided the crash. They started the final climb in good position, where Dries Devenyns pulling the thinned peloton into a line. Alaphilippe then attacked.

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The rainbow jersey picked his moment

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The perfect attack for the perfect win

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The win for Alaphilippe

Roglič and Tadej Pogačar counter-attacked, but there was no move from Van der Poel. The lead of the World champion increased a little further and he took the first stage and the first yellow jersey in Landerneau.

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Another top job by Deceuninck – Quick-Step

Stage winner and overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I really wanted to succeed today after the huge amount of work the team did. They’ve believed in me all day. I’ve been caught in a crash but I made it back without panicking. We had to get rid of the sprinters to cap it off. It wasn’t planned like that but I wanted to evaluate my rivals so when I realised I got a bit of a gap and everyone was flat out, I gave it all. They weren’t making it across. The pain was horrible but I’m so happy to win. The emotion is big every time. It’s huge to share that with my family. I miss them. I did my best for them and to enjoy the moment myself. Swapping the rainbow jersey for the yellow jersey.”

 

Tour de France Stage 1 Result:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:39:05
2. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:08
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
4. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
7. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
10. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
11. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange
12. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
13. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
14. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
15. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar
16. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo
17. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic
18. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
19. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
20. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
21. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech
22. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:13
23. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
24. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
25. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 1:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:38:55
2. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:12
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:14
4. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 0:18
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
7. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
10. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
11. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange
12. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
13. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
14. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
15. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar
16. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo
17. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic
18. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
19. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
20. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
21. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech
22. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:23
23. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
24. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
25. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies.

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