After a late pile up in difficult weather conditions in Nice, the first stage of the 2020 Tour de France ended with Team UAE’s Alexander Kristoff claiming the Yellow Jersey as the race leader.

Denmark’s Mads Pedersen, of Trek-Segafredo, came second, while Team Sunweb’s Ceeb Boll (Netherlands) finished third. The Tour’s start was postponed by two months due to the coronavirus and there are a number of restrictions in place this year.

In a day full of crashes as a result of the rainy, slippery conditions along the route, Kristoff fought back from an early fall that looked like ruling him out to take the win.

In a dramatic climax, the 33-year-old broke through the peloton with a late sprint after a crash involving several riders just three kilometers from the finish line.

Quote of the day: “I couldn’t dream of a better start,” said Kristoff after the race. “In the last kilometer, I felt alone but strong.” The Norwegian said wearing the yellow jersey is “a dream come true.”

Next up: The Tour de France will resume on Sunday with a 186-kilometer stage around Nice.

ft/mp (Reuters, AFP)