After Froome Crash, Fernando Gaviria Wins Tour de France Stage 1
Chris Froome’s bid for a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title got off to a shaky start Saturday after a dramatic crash that left him more than 40 seconds down on his rivals.
With just 6K to the finish, Froome went flying over a barrier and landed on a grassy verge, emerging seemingly unhurt as the peloton sped off.
Colombian Fernando Gaviria, meanwhile, claimed the yellow jersey after a bunch sprint rounded off the first stage. Racing in his first Tour, the 23-year-old Quick-Step Floors rider edged out pre-stage favourites like Peter Sagan and Marcel Kittel.
Fellow Colombian Nairo Quintana lost valuable seconds after suffering a puncture close to the finish. Other pre-Tour favorites, like Briton Adam Yates and Australian Richie Porte, also lost time getting caught in a series of falls and flat tires over the final 10K of the stage.
Former Team Sky rider Mikel Landa, 2014 champion Vincenzo Nibali, and 2017 Giro d’Italia champion Tom Dumoulin all finished in the main bunch, having gained an unexpected early advantage over their key rivals and blowing the Tour wide open.
Gaviria was thrilled with his impressive stage win, having outlasted world champion Sagan and Kittel, who won four stages on the 2017 Tour, in a long struggle down an 800-metre home straight.
“I just said to myself ‘go’ and had the legs, luckily,” Gaviria said. “The team did amazing. Tomorrow I’ll be in yellow and try and keep it as long as possible.”
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