It was the first stage of the 2020 Tour de France in sunny Nice. Except it wasn’t sunny – heavy rain turned the roads as slippery as ice and riders went down left, right and centre. A rider-led neutralisation of the final descent was the calm before a scrappy sprint finish, won in storming style by UAE Emirates’ Alexandre Kristoff, putting him in yellow for the first time in his career. But that was almost the least surprising thing about the stage.
Garmin-Sharp had a bad start to this year’s Vuelta. Tipped as one of the teams in contention for the TTT stage win, they came in a disappointing 19th, 1:41 behind stage winners Astana. But the disappointment doesn’t stop there. Koldo Fernandez, who along with Michel Kreder crashed during the stage, came away with a broken rib and therefore has had to abandon the race, as he’s having difficulty breathing. Here’s hoping he has a speedy recovery.
Stage 1: Vilanova de Arousa to Sanxenxo, 27.4km team time trial
Astana, with GC favourite Vincenzo Nibali, looked like a well-drilled machine as they crossed the line 10secs ahead of RadioShack to take this year’s first red jersey in a trying team time trial.