Kristoff takes Tour de France opening stage after truce in rain chaos


Two of the Colombian climber's key teammates - Pavel Sivakov and Andrey Amador - were involved in pileups while several overall contenders including Frenchman Thibaut Pinot and Colombian climber Nairo Quintana also went down.

A journalist interviews German John Degenkolb prior to the start of the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 156 kilometers (97 miles) with start and finish in Nice, southern France, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020.

"The Tour is always tense in the opening days but with so many crashes, it was gruelling and risky", said Yvon Ledanois, sports director at Arkea-Samsic.

After a late pile-up on Nice's iconic Promenade des Anglais, Alexander Kristoff of UAE Emirates won a crash-marred opening stage of the Tour de France on Saturday. Alaphilippe had identified the 186-kilometer (115.5-mile) Stage 2, looping over mountains to the north of Nice and with hill-climbs before the finish, as particularly suited to his punchy, aggressive style.

"This is a special Tour, even I am surprised", said the 33-year-old who admitted his season's targets were the coming one-day races, Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.

The Norwegian rider was the fastest to cross the finish line in Nice after a day in which crashed were a constant from the start.

The UCI's revised protocol had excluded staff members from the calculations following complaints from teams who feared their riders would be unfairly excluded from the race.

So, like many other things during this time of the corornavirus, the 107th Tour de France will break new ground - possibly marking the beginning, and not the end, of a new normal.

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Describing the scene as "high stress" and very frenetic, Berth said that officers were left with "incredible tunnel vision". The probe will also be overseen by prosecutors from the US Attorney's Office and the DOJ's Civil Rights Division.

The government's interministerial crisis committee has ruled that a team should be pulled out if two or more of its members test positive within seven days, race organisers said on Saturday. Astana said he escaped unscathed.

Who's Really Winning the Tour? "They made themselves look pretty stupid".

However, Pinot will be credited with the same time as the victor since the massive crash occurred within three kilometres of the finish line on the Promenade des Anglais.

Riders had successfully asked for the stage to be neutralised with times taken for the general classification at the 3km-mark to avoid more crashes in the final long stretch of road tailor-made for sprinters.

French health authorities have introduced stricter regulations for exclusions from the Tour de France in the event of coronavirus cases, hours before the race is due to start.

"The chances (of the Tour not reaching Paris) are very slim".

George Bennett gets back on his bike after his first fall on the descent.