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April Tacey and Ryan Gibbons win stage 1 of the Virtual Tour de France

South African champion Ryan Gibbons (NTT) wins men’s stage one

The first stage took in four laps of the 9.1km Watopia hilly reverse course, totalling just over 36km.

The NTT rider made use of a late power-up and the help of teammate Edvald Boasson Hagen to take a resounding win ahead of Pier-Andre Cote and Nick Shultz. 
Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel finished fourth in a race.

The NTT team was present in most of the moves that took place with Boasson Hagen a constant avatar at the front of the race.

"I'm truly overwhelmed and this is pretty special," Gibbons said at the finish.

2020 Virtual Tour de France Men's Stage 1 - Watopia (36.4km)

1 Ryan Gibbons (SAf) NTT Pro Cycling 00:45:17
2 Pier-Andre Cote (Can) Rally Cycling
3 Nico Schulz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 00:00:01
4 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
5 Freddy Ovett (GBr) Israel Start-Up Nation
6 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) NTT Pro Cycling
7 Matteo Dal-Cin (Can) Rally Cycling
8 Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal
9 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team
10 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Ineos 00:00:02

19-year-old British rider April Tacey wins women’s stage one

The Drops rider used a power-up to perfection to pip several big names on the line to beat American Kristen Faulkner (Tibco – Silicon Valley Bank) into second place and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak into third. 

There were 40 riders left with 28km to go, as Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) attacked, pushing out 450W, but was caught a couple of kilometres later.

Longo Borghini went again with 16km to go, but was reeled once more a kilometre later, with the bunch down to around 20 riders now.

Chloe Dygert then came to the front as the group began the final lap before Van den Broek – Blaak put in a big attack, hitting 55k[h as the other riders scrambled behind to get on her wheel. With 3km to go the reduced peloton was strung out up the climb, as Blaak used an invisibility power-up to try and go clear with 2.5km remaining before Magnaldi brought her back. Jos Lowden then used a featherweight power-up to fly past Magnaldi and Van den Broek-Blaak as Magnaldi pushed out 11w/kg to fight back and pip her to the summit.

Seven riders then started going clear into the final 1km, the group becoming cagey in the closing kilometre.

Dygert then opened up her sprint but Tacey used a well-time power-up snatch the win on the line.

Virtual Tour de France Women's Stage 1 - Watopia (36.4km)

1. April Tacey (GBr) Drops, in 51-07
2. K Faulkner (USA) Tibco – Silicon Valley Bank, at same time
3. Chantal van den Broek – Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans, at one second
4. Leah Dixon (GBr) Tibco – Silicon Valley Bank
5. Chloe Dygert (USA) Twenty20
6. Tanja Erath (Ger) Canyon-SRAM
7. Hannah Ludwig (Ger) Canyon-SRAM
8. Jos Lowden (GBr) Drops, all at same time
9. Jess Pratt (Aus) Canyon-SRAM, at 2s
10. Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA) Rally Cycling, both at same time

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