A wet day to kick off the The Race to the Sun ended with a cobbled sting in the tail and an agonising wait for a photo finish.
Stage 1: Chatou to Meudon, 135km
With excellent timing Arnaud Demare posted his first victory of the season on the day his team changed their name to Groupama-FDJ. It took a photo to separate the first four riders atop the narrow cobbled drag to the line. The French champion squeezed past Bahrain Merida’s Gorka Izaguirre by the narrowest of margins with Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) rounding out the podium.
Video, we pick it up with 3.5km to go…
Oh so close…
You can’t win the race on stage one, but you can certainly lose it. Several riders with eyes on the GC prize find themselves out of contention after the nervy opener. Both Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) and UAE-Emirates Rui Costa crashed twice. Tejay was forced to abandon, Rui finished over 17 minutes down. A late crash in the final 3km saw Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)and Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang hit the deck. They both cede over a minute.
On the other hand Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and Quickstepper Julian Alaphilippe are already gaining seconds o their rivals.
Thomas Voeckler in his new role as Race Ambassador and podium enforcerEmbed from Getty Images
Full race report at Cycling News
Header image: Arnaud Demare – Bryn Lennon/Getty Images