Alexander Kristoff of UAE Team Emirates won the first bunch sprint of the 2020 Tour de France on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, beating world champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Cees Bol (Team Sunweb). It’s his fourth stage win in the Tour de France after two in 2014 and the conclusive stage in Paris in 2018. The 33 year old is the second Norwegian to take the yellow jersey after Thor Hushovd.
SCHÄR, GAUTIER AND GRELLIER, FIRST IN ACTION
176 riders took the start of the 107th Tour de France in Nice. Michael Schär (CCC), Cyril Gautier (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) and Fabien Grellier (Total Direct Energie) rode away from the peloton right after the flag off. They reached the finishing line for a first passage after 38.5km with an advantage of 2’40’’ over the peloton that experienced a first crash involving top sprinter Sam Bennett. His team-mate Julian Alaphilippe slipped in a wet downhill at km 65 and fought his way back afterwards while Russian rookie Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadier) struggled for a while at the back after a serious crash.
SIVAKOV, EWAN, NIZZOLO AND LOPEZ INVOLVED IN CRASHES
The peloton slowed down to wait for the injured riders and avoid further damages. Sivakov crashed again after he made it across. More crashes occurred and affected top sprinters Caleb Ewan and Giacomo Nizzolo. Grellier was the first breakaway rider to get reeled in. Schär and Gautier who passed the côte de Rimiez in that order got caught at km 98. The regrouped peloton slowed down due to the rainy conditions. It enabled Nizzolo and Ewan to come back. Astana broke the gentleman agreement but as Omar Fraile sped up in a downhill, Miguel Angel Lopez lost the control of his bike and bumped into a traffic sign. The Colombian got back on.
ALEXANDER KRISTOFF ON PETER SAGAN’S WHEEL
The peloton rode slowly until Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale) launched an attack with 22km to go. He got reeled in 13km before the end. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) was caught in a crash with 3km to go. It was a 5km long straight line on the Promenade des Anglais. Kristoff had no lead out but he followed Peter Sagan before he timed his effort at perfection to give no chance to Pedersen and Bol to overtake him.