Primoz Roglic set the tone in the first mountain stage of the Tour de France. The Slovenian rider from Jumbo-Visma won in Orcières-Merlette, where he sprinted out all the other favourites for the final victory after a first category climb.
Tadej Pogacar finished second, ahead of Guillaume Martin, Nairo Quintana and Julian Alaphilippe, who successfully defended the yellow jersey.
The Frenchman has a lead of four seconds on Adam Yates and seven seconds on Roglic.
Wout van Aert, one of the Jumbo helpers, led the depleted peloton for a long time on the final climb. Last month the Belgian already showed his great form by winning Strade Bianche and Milan-Sanremo, he was also in the service of Roglic and Dumoulin.
It wasn’t until a kilometre and a half from the top that he steered away and took the lead with Sepp Kuss, another Jumbo-Visma rider. Roglic was directly in his wheel, followed by reigning Tour winner Egan Bernal and Pogacar.
Dumoulin at the back
Tom Dumoulin had more trouble with Kuss’s pace. He rode around fifteenth place in the final kilometre and couldn’t sprint for the stage win. Dumoulin finished eleventh in the same time as Roglic.
Dumoulin is in seventh place in the general classification, seventeen seconds behind Alaphilippe.
Bauke Mollema was the second Dutchman in the stage in thirteenth place. Mollema also adds seventeen seconds to the attention-getter.
Six riders attacked not long after the start in Sisteron. Among them the Belgian Tiesj Benoot and the Frenchman Alexis Vuillermoz, winner of a stage with an uphill finish in 2015.
No big lead
Both could cope well with a first category climb and would have a chance to win the day, if it weren’t for the peloton’s tight control. The six got no more than a four-minute lead.
Especially Deceuninck-QuickStep, the Alaphilippe team, set the pace to defend the leader’s jersey and control the race.
Val Benoot without much damage
From the leading group, which stayed together for a long time, the Let Krists Neilands broke away on the penultimate slope. In the descent Benoot misjudged the turn and slammed over the crash barrier.
The Sunweb rider ended up in the grass relatively well. On a new bike he was able to continue on his way.
Vuillermoz and the Frenchman Quinten Pacher rode between leader Neilands and the peloton for a while, but all attackers were caught before the foot of the final climb.
Puddles in trouble
For Wout Poels it was a day to quickly forget. Poels rides after a fall in the first stage with a broken rib and a bruised rib.
Long before the final climb he had to escape from the peloton with several sprinters, including Alexander Kristoff and Peter Sagan.