Stage 1 came down to a 1-2 by two twin brothers, a first in the history of the Tour de France. Adam and Simon Yates rode the finale together. The UAE Team Emirates punchy rider powered to victory in Bilbao while his team-mate Tadej Pogacar took third place and four seconds of time bonus in his duel with defending champion Jonas Vingegaard.
FIVE RIDERS IN THE LEAD
The start proper of stage 1 was given at 12.53. Five riders took off quickly: Lilian Calmejane (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Simon Guglielmi (Arkea-Samsic), Pascal Eenkhorn (Lotto-Dstny), Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X) and Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies). Gregaard attacked to crest the first categorized climb at the front 2’30’’ before the peloton while Eenkhorn managed to take the second place. Eenkhorn crested the climb of San Juan de Gaztelugatxae first, ahead of Guglielmi, and took the virtual lead of the KOM classification. Eenkhorn also won the intermediate sprint at Guernica, km 88, where the time difference between the leading five riders and the peloton went down to one minute. Jumbo-Visma, Alpecin-Deceuninck and Soudal-Quick Step were the most active teams at the helm of the bunch.
POWLESS FIRST KING OF THE MOUNTAINS
They were close to being caught with 75km to go but Guglielmi and Gregaard sped up again and the group was reunited with a stable advantage of 30’’. The bunch was packed again with 50km remaining. Sprinters got dropped in the climb to Murga: Mark Cavendish, Alexander Kristoff, Caleb Ewan, Peter Sagan, Dylan Groenewegen, Fabio Jakobsen… Jonas Abrahamsen took one KOM point at the top. Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) crested El Vivero in first position ahead of Georg Zimmerman (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), which meant taking the first polka dot jersey of the 2023 Tour de France. His team-mate Richard Carapaz crashed in the downhill, along with Enric Mas (Movistar) who was injured and became the first man to abandon the 110th Tour de France.
THE YATES TWINS MAKE A 1-2
Victor Lafay (Cofidis) was the only rider able to accompany Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard to the top of the Pike climb located 9.6km before the end. In the downhill, Adam and Simon Yates rode away after a small regrouping. They covered the last 8km together with an advantage of no more than 15 seconds. Adam took the lead in the final uphill stretch 400m before the line and remained ahead while his team-mate Tadej Pogacar raised his arms up in the air as it was a big victory for UAE Team Emirates. 12 riders including defending champion Jonas Vingegaard crossed the line 12 seconds after the stage winner.