Who lost time on stage 1 of the Tour de France?
Team Israel Start-Up Nation in the peloton on stage 1 of the Tour de France.
As the dust settles after the dramatic first stage, the atmospheres in the various team hotels around Landerneau will be starkly varied. While Julian Alaphilippe and his Deceuninck-Quickstep team celebrate a fantastic victory and look forward to a few good days in yellow, there will be many other riders licking their wounds, their Tour de France targets already in tatters.
While the first crash was more sensational thanks to the involvement of a roadside fan, the more impactful crash came inside the last 10 km, just before the punchy climb up to the finish. Just like earlier in the day, the majority of the peloton was affected, and with several kilometres to go and a high pace up front, not to mention any injuries picked up, there were several GC leaders caught out.
Who were the winners and losers?
Jumbo-Visma’s Primož Roglič was the first GC favourite to cross the line just eight seconds behind Alaphilippe, sprinting alongside second-place Michael Matthews (BikeExchange) to take four bonus seconds. Also in their group were two former Tour de France champions Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), both expected to push Roglič hardest in the fight for yellow. Other notable survivors included Jack Haig (Bahrain-Victorious), Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe), Esteban Chaves (BikeExchange), Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-Nippo), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang and Alexey Lutsenko, and one of Movistar’s many leaders in Enric Mas.
Though Thomas was the only Ineos Grenadiers rider in the main group, Richard Carapaz lost just five seconds to his GC rivals, so he’s still very much in the game should something happen to his team leader. The same cannot be said for Richie Porte and Tao Geoghegan Hart, finishing 2:16 and 5:33 down respectively. It does at last sort out the hierarchy somewhat.
Movistar is another team that came to the Tour with multiple leaders, but after stage one, Enric Mas is in the best position, with Miguel Angel López losing 1:49 to race leader Alaphilippe, and Valverde over five minutes down.
French hopeful Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) will be bitterly disappointed to lose 1:49 at this early juncture, especially as he doesn’t have a particularly good TT to rely on. Still, he may still be on track to break into the top 10 overall which he just missed out on last year.
The biggest loss was suffered by Israel Start-Up Nation’s Michael Woods. The Canadian was handed a leadership role in his second appearance at the Tour de France, but his hopes of getting anywhere close to the yellow jersey were dashed before crossing a single finish line. Caught up in the late crash, Woods limped home 8:49 after the stage winner. His teammates also had a bad day, with Dan Martin and Chris Froome 5:33 and 14:37 down respectively. Neither were going for GC, but it completes a pretty rubbish start for the team.
There were a few riders who arrived at the Tour de France saying they were targeting stage wins, but who were expected to be there or thereabouts at least for the first week or so – the kind who might have a go at GC if circumstances were different, or if they hadn’t finished third at the Giro d’Italia just a month ago… The likes of Simon Yates (BikeExchange) and Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty) will now feel free to pursue their reported goals after cruising home following the crash.