The bad weather conditions and the many ups and downs around Nice made the stage dangerous. Many riders crashed or fell behind, but the favourites for the final victory didn’t lose any time. Thibaut Pinot had a crash in the closing stages of the stage and got caught.
Bol shows itself in sprint
Dutchman Cees Bol sprinted to third place, his best classification in the Tour in his career. World champion Mads Pedersen finished second behind Kristoff, who took his fourth stage win in the Tour.
When Tour Director Christian Prudhomme released the race, the French Cyril Gautier (B&B) and Fabien Grellier (Total Direct Energie) attacked with the Swiss Michael Schär (CCC). The peloton was immediately at peace with that.
Martin beckons to calm
But as predictable as the first kilometers went, so restless was the rest of the stage when dark clouds gathered over Nice. A large number of riders crashed in the wet weather or had material breakdown.
The rain made the race over the hills so dangerous that Jumbo-Visma rider Tony Martin on one of the slopes called on his colleagues to take it easy.
Not long afterwards the Astana riders put themselves at the head of the peloton in a descent and in it leader Miguel Ángel López took too much risk despite Martin’s warnings.
The Colombian skidded away, could barely stay upright and came to a standstill against a traffic sign. Without too much damage he could then return to the peloton.
View López’s slipping below:
Jumbo-Visma as well as Ineos, the teams that with Primoz Roglic and Egan Bernal have the two top favourites in the ranks for the final victory, did not come through the first day unscathed.
Pavel Sivakov (Ineos) fell early in the stage and was behind for a long time. Jumbo rider George Bennett slipped down about thirty kilometers from the finish and with some difficulty got back on the bike with a seemingly painful shoulder.