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Tour de France Stage 1: Julian Alaphilippe takes yellow as huge crash splits bunch

World champion takes opening stage in Brittany - but many riders will have lost a lot of time

Julian Alaphilippe of Deceuninck-Quick Step has swapped the raibow jersey for the yellow one to become the first wearer of the 108th edition of the Tour de France after winning the opening stage of the race from Brest to Landernau in Brittany today.

The peloton was split by a huge crash about 8km from the finish, with riders injured including four-time champion Chris Froome of Israel Start-Up Nation, selected for the race as the team's road captain.

With only a small group following the world champion over the line, there will be some big gaps on the general classification after the opening stage.

While defending champion Tadej Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates , last year’s runner-up Primoz Roglic of Jumbo-Visma and the 2018 champion Geraint Thomas of Ineos Grenadiers all came home in a group eight seconds behind Alaphilippe, others were not so lucky.

It was the second big crash of the stage, the first caused by a spectator, with his back to the peloton, waving a sign by the roadside which brought down a number of riders.

The teams most affected by the two crashes were Israel Start-Up Nation and Movistar.

While Froome remounted, there must be serious doubts over whether he will start the second stage to Mur de Bretagne tomorrow, the four-time Tour de France champion crossing the line almost a quarter of an hour behind the winner.

Michael Woods, the team’s designated leader for the race and who came into it in a rich vein of form, lost nearly 9 minutes.

Movistar’s Miguel Angel Lopez, caught up in both crashes, limited his losses to 1 minute 49 seconds, but team mates Alejandro Valverde and Marc Soler respectively lost 5 minutes 33 seconds and 24 minutes 38 seconds.

Tomorrow's second stage features a double ascent of the Mur de Bretagne climb - and will be one, it is hoped, in which the result is shaped not by crashes, but by the racing.

Reaction and video to follow.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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