The stage honours, and the first yellow jersey in the 2021 Tour de France, may have gone to Julian Alaphilippe but (Deceuninck-QuickStep) but that was just one of the talking points during a breathtaking stage 1 that saw two major crashes and time losses for several of the pre-race favorites.
A spectator caused the first major pile-up with around 45km to go, with Tony Martin, Primoz Roglic and Wout van Aert among the many favourites to go down. The second crash took down four-time winner Chris Froome, while Miguel Angel Lopez, Richie Porte and Michael Woods all lost significant time.
The final ascent to the line saw Alaphilippe attack with a shade over 2km remaining, with the world champion holding off a late charge from Michael Matthews and Roglic.
Watch the stage 1 race highlights in the video above.
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.