The 156 km (97 miles) level began and completed within the French Riviera’s greatest town, however the unseasonable prerequisites with continual rain noticed plenty of high-profile contenders hit the tarmac in bruising falls.
Kristoff used to be some of the casualties however benefited from a “truce” known as by means of main riders within the peloton, which slowed dramatically for protection causes, permitting sufferers of crashes to catch up and contest the end.
It used to be most effective within the final levels that racing started in earnest once more, despite the fact that an additional mass crash simply within three km (2 miles) to head, left house favourite Thibaut Pinot some of the casualties, the Frenchman getting as much as end the level with out critical harm.
UEA Crew Emirates rider Kristoff used his revel in within the completing burst to take the honors from international champion Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Dutch rider Cees Bol. Seven-time inexperienced jersey winner Peter Sagan completed 5th within the sprint for line.
For 33-year-old Kristoff, it used to be probably the most highlights of his profession and all of the extra exceptional having misplaced about six mins in his crash.
“It is a yellow jersey. I at all times dreamed about dressed in it. Now this is a dream coming true. You can’t dream of a higher get started,” he instructed Eurosport.
Protecting champion Egan Bernal of Colombia completed safely within the peloton, however one in every of his key Crew Ineos enhance riders, Pavel Sivakov, got here down two times.
Bernal’s compatriot, Astana captain Miguel Angel Lopez, suffered a specifically heavy tumble in a downhill slide that noticed him slam face-first right into a visitors signal.
One of the crucial different race favorites, Primoz Roglic of Slovenia completed in the similar time as Bernal, the Jumbo-Visma rider summing up the temper of the peloton at the first day of a three-week race.
“All of us simply sought after not to do silly issues. You’ll be able to nonetheless have a race and a dash, nevertheless it used to be now not the purpose of any person to crash at the first day,” he instructed ITV four.
Roglic, who has proven spectacular shape within the warmup races, might be anticipated to return extra to the fore on Sunday’s 186 km (115 miles) level, once more beginning and completing in Great, however that includes two main climbs to check the legs of the contenders for the entire classification.
The Excursion used to be initially because of get started in overdue June, however like maximum main wearing occasions used to be postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s being held with strict well being protocols in position, with groups dealing with expulsion if two or extra in their whole entourage, together with riders and enhance group of workers, check sure for Covid-19.
Enthusiasts, who usually pack the roadsides, specifically at the main climbs, face heavy restrictions and most effective 100 spectators have been allowed into the completing house at the Prom des Anglais on Saturday.
With Covid-19 infections expanding in France, there was hypothesis that the Excursion would possibly not even succeed in its conventional end in Paris, however French minister for game and schooling Jean-Michel Blanquer gave an upbeat message.
“You’ll be able to’t rule out the cancellation of the Excursion, nevertheless it has been so smartly ready that the chances of it taking place are very susceptible,” Agence France-Presse quoted him at the place to begin Saturday.