The 2020 Tour set off two months later than planned due to the coronavirus and under strict health protocols. However, the first rain in the Mediterranean city since June turned the opening jaunt of the 21-day race into a lottery with one motorbike race official describing the road surface as an ice rink. Key victims of the multiple crashes included French hopes Thibaut Pinot and Julian Alaphilippe, with Colombia’s Astana captain Miguel Angel Lopez suffering a slam face-first into a traffic sign.
Riders set off for a 97-mile rolling jaunt around Nice.
Showers throughout the stage made road conditions sketchy, the tight, winding roads of stage one proved to be a dangerous combo.
As the riders approached the finale, the rain let up but a crash inside of the final three kilometers caught out many including overall favorite Thibaut Pinot.
33-year-old Norwegian Alexander Kristoff proved to be the strongest on the day and held off stage favorites like Peter Sagan and Giacomo Nizzolo in the sprint.
It’s the first time Kristoff has worn the yellow jersey having completed the Grand Tour seven times.
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini