The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Yesterday saw the 108th edition of the Tour de France get underway and there was no lack of incident on the first day!
saw a return of the crowds and the atmosphere that is almost as much a part of Le Tour as the racing itself. We also saw a return to TdF form for France’s Darling, Julian Alaphilippe. The World Champ attacked with over 2km to the finish to take the win and exchange his rainbow jersey for the yellow jersey. Could he win day two also... maybe the whole race? It’s not a secret that the course has been designed with Julian in mind especially after the start was changed from Copenhagen in Denmark to Brest.
would see a host of riders hit the deck in a terrible crash, the second of the stage, caused by a touch of wheels 8km out from the finish. Sadly, these racing incidents are an unavoidable part of racing, but it is always hard to see riders months of preparation and their race chances hampered or ruined by an accident.
And then the Ugly.
Another horror crash caused by a spectator's over-exuberance. With the group tightly packed, Tony Martin was left with nowhere to go but into a spectator and their sign, which were on the course. After the restrictions we have all been living under for the last year, the excitement maybe just got a bit too much for this fan. However, the fact the TdF organisers are trying to find the woman and prosecute her and officials have reported she could face 3 years in prison and a 45,000 fine, may do something to quench the excitement a little and hopefully, we won't see a similar incident again.
The aftermath of the two incidents leaves three riders already abandoned the event with the possibility of others not starting day two! Notable names of those who survived, not totally unscathed include; Tony Martin who finished 16.29 minutes down and looking a bit worse for wear, Chris Froome went down hard and looked in a bad way, he eventually managed to get back on his bike but he crossed the finish line 14.37 minutes down. Tao Geoghegan Hart is also behind now by a substantial time difference of 5.33 minutes. Even stage winner, Alaphilippe, did not get through untouched and finished with a bad cut on his leg sustained in the first crash.
Hopefully, today's stage, 183.5 hilly kilometres from Perros-Guirec to Guerledan including two climbs of the Mur-de-Bretagne, will see more of the good and less of the bad and ugly!