World Champion Julian Alaphilippe wins opening uphill stage of the Tour de France
Alaphilippe attacked with 2.3km to go on the final climb and nobody could get close to him. Tour stage win number six and another yellow jersey for the world champion
Julian Alaphilippe won the opening stage of the Tour de France and claimed the first yellow jersey of the race Saturday.
Michael Matthews (BikeExchange) finished second on the uphill finish as Primož Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) took third. Defending champion Tadej Pogacar finished sixth on the same time as Roglic.
Alaphilippe’s eight-second winning margin when added to the bonus seconds for victory gives him a 12-second GC lead heading into stage 2.
The final 45 kilometers of the hilly race through Brittany was marked by two mass crashes, the second of which saw Chris Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation) among the fallers. The four-time Tour champ was able to ride to the line though looked in pain over 12 minutes behind.
The action all came down on the final 2.7 km Fosse aux Loups climb after a second huge crash split the bunch at six kilometers to go.
Deceuninck Quick Step took over the race before the ascent as van der Poel came up late to join Alaphilippe, van Aert and Colbrelli at the front of the bunch.
With 2.3km Alaphilippe attacked as Pierre Latour, Roglic and Pogacar started the chase.
The two Slovenians watched each other before being swallowed up by the Wout van Aert-led lead group, and Latour succumbed to the chase not long afterward.
Julian Alaphilippe said afterwards, "It’s really incredible, honestly. It’s a scenario I imagined and the start of my Tour is success. It’s a super feeling, my team did great work, they took care of me and controlled things. In the final I was caught up in a crash but I was able to stay calm and then I had to finish off the work on the final climb, where we really wanted to make it hard and get rid of the sprinters. When Dries opened the gap I gave the maximum without asking any questions.
"It wasn’t planned to go from that far but when I went I saw I had a small gap and I saw everyone was à bloc so I decided to keep going. In the final kilometre, I saw the gap wasn’t coming down. Every time it’s an emotion I can’t describe."
"It’s a joy for me to win but also to give emotions to those close to me. This is really a special win for me."
VIDEO: 2021 Tour de France Stage 1 Highlights
2021 Tour de France Stage 1 Top 10
1. Julian Alaphilippe (DQT) 4:39:05
2. Michael Matthews (BEX) +0:08
3. Primož Roglic (TJV)
4. Jack Haig (TBV)
5. Wilco Kelderman (BOH)
6. Tadej Pogacar (UAD)
7. David Gaudu (GFC)
8. Sergio Higuita (EFN)
9. Bauke Mollema (TFS)
10. Geraint Thomas (IGD)
GC Riders Who Lost Time on Stage 1
Carapaz and Hamilton lost time on the final climb. Israel Start-Up Nation suffered the biggest losses, with Michael Woods limping across the line 8m 49s behind. Chris Froome was involved in both crashes and nearly abandoned after the second crash with 8km, eventually limped across the line 14m 37s behind.
Movistar also suffered badly with Valverde and Soler way down after crashing, and Lopez limiting his loses 1m 49s.
Ineos faired ok, Thomas finishing up front, teammate Carapaz unhinged on the final climb by 13 seconds and Port delayed, over 2m 16s down.
Steven Kruijswijk finished alongside Miguel Angel Lopez with a chainstay missing from his bike?
Biggest losers are Israel Start-Up Nation and Movistar who'll likely to pick Lopez for GC and for Ineos Geraint Thomas.
22 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:13
28 Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:00:38
41 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:49
44 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
46 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
65 Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:02:16
93 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:33
154 Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation 0:08:49
171 Chris Froome (GBr) Israel Start-up Nation 0:14:37
181 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:24:38
Tour Fans furious after Massive Crash caused by spectator wipes out peloton
The first stage of the Tour de France was thrown into chaos after a fan caused a massive crash that wiped out half of the peloton
After Christian Prudhomme had set the 108th edition of the biggest bike race in motion, there was a huge crash with 42 kms to go on the opening stage.
A women stood slighty in the road on the right-hand side with a cardboard sign, clipped Tony Martin, who went down hard, and took most of the peloton with him.
The moment a spectator took out the whole peloton
Fortunately, all riders continued on, except for Sutterlin, who abandoned the race.
Dozens of riders were delayed and had to spend 20 kms chasing to get back on, however the peloton slowed down.
Crash from overhead
Jumbo-Visma riders, the most affected, saw the team post "According to the circumstances, all of our riders seem to be okay after the massive and despicable crash. Thanks for all the encouraging messages and for the peloton to slow down."
Tony Martin was seen back on his bike riding with a ripped jersey and shorts.
The internet went crazy, and the inevitable memes started flooding in.
Second Huge Crash
Another giant pile-up with 8kms to go - we sincerely hope this looked worse than it's actually been.