The 186-kilometer route is heading directly into high mountains, with two climbs of 1,500 meters, testing the cyclist’ physical condition.
Stage 1 was one of the most dangerous stages in the race’s history. It saw multiple crashes and injured riders as heavy rain and storms played havoc in the first stage of the tour.
Defending champion Colombia's Egan Bernal from Ineos Team was one of the riders who went down. Pavel Sivakov, Audrey Adamor (Ineos), and France's Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Colombia's Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) also went down, among others.
“The Tour is always tense in the opening days, but with so many crashes it was grueling and dangerous,” said Yvon Ledanois, sports director at Arkea-Samsic. “The most important thing for us is that Nairo did not lose time.”
Norway’s Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) was the winner of the first stage, obtaining a 10 second lead from other riders.
2020’s Tour de France kicked off on Saturday with strict anti-COVID protocols in order to try and keep all 176 riders and their teams virus-free. The tour is set to last for three weeks, with the last stage from Mantes-la-Jolie to Paris (Champs-Élysées) on Sunday, September 20.