Cycling: Kristoff wins Tour de France first stage as Pinot crashes

NICE, FRANCE (REUTERS) – Alexander Kristoff won the opening stage of the Tour de France, while Thibaut Pinot was one of several riders to take a tumble on a rain-hit ride on Saturday (Aug 29).

Norway’s Kristoff outsprinted Danish world champion Mads Pedersen after 156km around Nice as well as Pinot, who trailed by some distance.

However, Pinot will be credited with the same time as the winner since the massive crash occurred within three kilometres of the finish line on the Promenade des Anglais.

Dutchman Cees Bol finished third.

Colombian Nairo Quintana, twice a Tour runner-up, fell earlier while Pavel Sivakov, one of defending champion Egan Bernal’s key lieutenants, hit the ground twice.

Pre-stage favourites Sam Bennett, Caleb Ewan and Giacomo Nizzolo also crashed on slippery roads as rain wreaked havoc during the stage.

Organisers postponed the start of the Tour de France by several weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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