TDF 2018: Stage 1

Fernando Gaviria wins stage 1 of the 2018 Tour de France whilst Froome, Yates, Porte and others lose a minute in crashfest

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TDF 2018: Stage 1

Event Press Release

Fernando Gaviria of Quick Step became the first Colombian to win a bunch sprint of the Tour de France and the second Colombian to take the yellow jersey, fifteen years after Victor Hugo Peña, as he outclassed Peter Sagan in Fontenay-le-Comte.

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The finish was reached at the fastest expected speed but not without damage for the favourites as Chris Froome, Richie Porte, Adam Yates and Nairo Quintana lost a significant amount of time in crashes and mechanicals.

176 riders took the start of the 105th Tour de France at 11.10am in Noirmoutier-en-l’Île. Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Jérôme Cousin (Direct Energie) and Kevin Ledanois (Fortuneo-Samsic) rode away from the gun.

Their maximum advantage was four minutes at km 20 before the peloton got organized with sprinters’ teams Quick Step, LottoNL-Jumbo, Dimension Data and Groupama-FDJ keeping the distance around three minutes. At half way into the race, the time gap was 2’30’’. Lawson Craddock (EF-Drapac) crashed in the feed zone and struggled to make it back to the pack.

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Gaviria first of the bunch at the intermediate sprint
Fernando Gaviria (Quick Step) interestingly won the sprint of the peloton at the intermediate sprint of La Tranche-sur-Mer (km 119.5), behind Cousin, Ledanois and Offredo. The leading trio managed to stay at the front before the only King of the Mountain price up for grab at Vix with 28km to go.

Ledanois smartly outsprinted his two rivals to take the first polka dot jersey this year. As the peloton was only 30 seconds adrift, Offredo attacked again 23km before the end. Only Cousin managed to bridge the gap. It gave him the opportunity to take three seconds at the bonus point of Maillezais with 13.5km to go while Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale) has attacked from the peloton to grab one second and position his team higher in the convoy in the next stage.

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Froome, Porte, Yates and Quintana with a deficit
Offredo was designated the most aggressive rider of the day but he was caught by the peloton along with Cousin with 10km to go. Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) was the first big name to crash but there was more to come with Chris Froome (Sky), Richie Porte (BMC) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) being other victims in the last 5km.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) had a mechanical with 3.4km to go. They couldn’t make it back to the pack before the finish where Gaviria benefited from a perfect lead out by Quick Step to win the bunch gallop against Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Post Stage Reactions

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Fernando Gaviria: “It’s incredible, I don’t have enough words to tell you how I feel on this amazing day. I was thinking of the victory, but to take also the yellow jersey was a dream, a dream which I turned into reality thanks to the beautiful work of all my teammates, who rode their heart out for me and made sure of bringing me into the best position for the final. That’s why this win isn’t just mine, is of the entire team”, said Fernando, whose palmares includes now days spent in both the maglia rosa and the maillot jaune, two of cycling’s most prized jerseys.”

“Being the first stage of the Tour de France it was pretty stressful, but the guys perfectly organized themselves, kept me protected and overcome all the obstacles, be it crosswinds or roundabouts, which came thick and fast in the final kilometers. It was thanks to their work and the strong legs I had that I could beat two strong riders and take a yellow jersey Colombia had been waiting for 15 years.”

“I don’t know for how long we will keep the yellow jersey in the team, for now all we want is to enjoy this beautiful moment, continue taking it day by day and see how things unfold. It’s true that I also scored important points today, but I’m not thinking of the green jersey, it’s still too early for that. It’s a proud and happy day of my life, which motivates me even more for the upcoming stages”, concluded Fernando Gaviria, the fifth rider in the history of Quick-Step Floors to take the Tour de France yellow jersey, after landing the team’s 33rd stage win at the century-old race.

Peter Sagan: “The Tour de France got underway today with a fast stage! It was flat, with a parcours that suited the pure sprinters and, as expected, we had a brisk finishing sprint. The guys did an excellent job throughout the stage and in the tense final kilometres protected Rafał and me from all the trouble. We stayed clear of all the crashes. I felt my legs in good shape and took second in the stage. It’s just the start of a long Tour de France.” – Peter Sagan, UCI World Champion

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Chris Froome: “I came off in the last 10 kms, it’s one of those things that happen, we knew it was going to be tricky, sketchy, it’s part of the game. We were right at the front of the peloton. There is not much more the guys could have done. But it was a bit chaotic there with a lot of sprinters around. That’s bike racing. Im’ grateful that I’m not injured in a way. There’s a long way to cover before we get to Paris.”

Dan Martin: “Today was a chaotic final were everybody was fresh and wanted to stay in front. I avoided the crash and that was really important. As I said in the past few days, I have a lot of confidence in the team, and in stages like today teammates are really important.”

Marcel Kittel: “It was a super hard sprint today, but the good thing is it played out just like we expected it to. I think this is a good result – we came to win but I think we are still able to win, so this was a good situation for today. I gambled in the end. I knew I needed to come late on this uphill finish but I was just a little bit too late. The power is there and that’s the most important thing. The speed is here. I have it in my legs to get a win in the next few stages.”

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Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “I rode over a kerb just before the last three kilometers, had both wheels broken and it was impossible for me to continue riding that way, I had to stop. Sadly, things went that way – there’s no other thing left for us but carry on and try to recover in the upcoming stages.”

Mikel Landa (Movistar): “It’s a catastrophe for us. The initial three quarters of the stage were really calm, but the finale was truly eventful, with lots of nerves; it was difficult to manage our way through safely. Things like what happened to Nairo are something you never expect at the moment they happen, and it’s really awful. We’ll have to think we’re still on stage one out of 21, and what happened to us today might turn around in the upcoming days. Let’s keep focus, continue to work hard and go day-by-day before the mountains.”

Dylan Groenewegen said “I didn’t have the legs that I’ve had all year. The team did an excellent job and I actually felt good all day. It was only after the crash of Démare that I didn’t have enough power anymore and couldn’t start my sprint in the position I wanted. Of course that’s disappointing, but we’re going to try again tomorrow.”

Michael Matthews (Sunweb) said: “I’m happy to get through the stage safe with Tom also safe across the line. I wasn’t sure what was happening behind but I heard from the guys that there were a lot of crashes and carnage so I’m glad we were at the front and out of trouble. I felt good in the sprint, my bike handling was good, as was my position. The team is in good shape which gives us good confidence for the upcoming days.”

John Degenkolb: “It was a super hard finale. The sprint was uphill, but I think from the speed it was pretty much the same than flat! In the end, I missed the really good punch, but I am confident that it will be better in the next days.”

Vincenzo Nibali: “It was the classic Tour opening stage” the Italian champion commented “with a long breakaway started soon and caught with only 10km to go. Then another stage started with the sprinters fighting to find the best position. I struggled to stay in the front especially to avoid more risks“.

Mathew Hayman (Adam Yates teammate): “Everything seemed to be going OK, of course it’s nervous as the first stage of the Tour de France, but then all of a sudden everyone is all over the road and it’s panic stations. We were up pretty quick. We got back together and the boys were there straight away and it looked like it was coming back together.”

“I heard on the radio that Chris had also had a crash and I knew that wasn’t good news because it wasn’t going to be an easy task to get back once that front group split again. We lost some time, but these are long races. We were in the wrong place at the wrong time. You do your best not to be in that position but we were and we’re pretty disappointed. But it’s 21 days in July, not one”.

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Richie Porte (BMC): “It was pretty nervous there. It was not ideal but I think Quintana (Movistar Team) has probably lost more [than me], Froome (Team Sky) was there, and Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) was there. That’s the Tour.

I was pretty close to coming down. I sort of rode Damiano Caruso, my teammate, into the ground and that softened the blow. I don’t really know what happened to be honest, it’s just one of those things. It’s all ok and the next thing, there’s a crash in front. There were a few more crashes after that.”

“There were other guys there, some worse off than me. It’s the first day of the Tour and it’s not ideal. But there’s a long way [to go] and it’s just nice to finally start the race. It’s definitely swings and roundabouts, this race. Guys took time today but who’s to say the same doesn’t happen to them tomorrow. The guys were good around me today and it’s a shame but we’ll see how the next days go.”

Greg Van Avermaet: “It was a typical first stage of the Tour de France. It’s hectic and we expected that but it was too bad that the guys were caught behind the crash and Richie lost some time. The good thing to come out of this day is maybe that Froome and some other GC guys also lost time and luckily Richie didn’t go down in the crash. I was up at the front and I tried to keep going and be up there for the bonus sprint but the three seconds were gone. We will see how it goes over the next days.”

Stage 1
1. Fernando Gaviria Quick-Step Floors 4:23:32
2. Peter Sagan BORA – hansgrohe
3. Marcel Kittel Team Katusha – Alpecin
4. Alexander Kristoff UAE-Team Emirates
5. Christophe Laporte Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
6. Dylan Groenewegen Team LottoNL-Jumbo
7. Michael Matthews Team Sunweb
8. John Degenkolb Trek – Segafredo
9. Jakob Fuglsang Astana Pro Team
10. RafałMajka BORA – hansgrohe

20. Sonny Colbrelli Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team
26. André Greipel Lotto Soudal
36. Mark Cavendish Team Dimension Data
39. Rick Zabel Team Katusha – Alpecin

1 Fernando Gaviria Quick-Step Floors 4:23:22
2 Peter Sagan BORA – hansgrohe 0:04
3 Marcel Kittel Team Katusha – Alpecin 0:06
4 Oliver Naesen AG2R La Mondiale 0:09
5 Alexander Kristoff UAE-Team Emirates 0:10
6 Christophe Laporte Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
7 Dylan Groenewegen Team LottoNL-Jumbo
8 Michael Matthews Team Sunweb
9 John Degenkolb Trek – Segafredo
10 Jakob Fuglsang Astana Pro Team

12 Vincenzo Nibali Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team
15 Geraint Thomas Team Sky
28 Tom Dumoulin Team Sunweb
29 Warren Barguil Team Fortuneo – Samsic
33 Mikel Landa Movistar Team
35 Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale
38 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team
40 Bauke Mollema Trek – Segafredo
44 Rigoberto Uran Team EF Education First
52 Daniel Martin UAE-Team Emirates

83 Richie Porte BMC Racing Team 1:01
84 Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott
85 Pierre Rolland Team EF Education First-Drapac
91 Chris Froome Team Sky
112 Nairo Quintana Movistar Team


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