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Tour de France 2019: Stage 1

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Hello and welcome to our live coverage from the first stage of the 2019 Tour de France! The riders have 194.5km in front of them, with today's stage beginning and ending in Brussels, the capital of Belgium.

 

The 2019 Tour de France is about to get under way, with the race start proper coming in half an hour. The peloton will roll out of Brussels in a matter of minutes.

Eddy Merckx is riding in the commissaire's car ahead of the peloton, waving at the fans as they roll around the streets of Brussels.

Here's a shot of the peloton preparing to start the Tour.

At the end of today's stage, an uphill sprint in Brussels, it looks certain that a sprinter will take the victory and race lead. Check out our preview of stage 1 here, and our preview podcast here.

The stage proper is set to start at 12:25 local time, so another 14 minutes or so of riding through the neutralised zone.

Along with the greatest of them all, there have been a number of other – more recent – cycling stars hanging around at the start in Brussels today. 

Greg Van Avermaet is up at the front of the peloton with five kilometres left of the neutralised section.

3km to go until the Tour de France officially gets underway.

There will no doubt be a fierce fight to get into the first break of the race. It's coming up in a matter of moments!

194km remaining from 194km

Natnael Bernae (Cofidis) is among the men up front, leading the attacking with Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) and riders from Wanty-Groupe Gobert and Katusha-Alpecin.

Van Avermaet is leading the charge here.

190km remaining from 194km

Greg Van Avermaet leads CCC Team at this Tour, with the men in orange lacking a GC leader. They do have a plan to get into the yellow jersey though, as outlined by GVA and team boss Jim Ochowicz on Friday. Read the full story here.

188km remaining from 194km

Today's two climbs are the Muur de Grammont (better known as the Muur van Geraardsbergen) and the Bosberg. They are best-known for featuring in the finale of the old Tour de Flanders route.

182km remaining from 194km

The riders are racing through Belgium, so it's not surprising to see Deceuninck-QuickStep and Lotto Soudal at the head of the peloton ahead of Team Ineos. 

178km remaining from 194km

Jumbo-Visma's Wout Van Aert is another home favourite. Here's the man himself with his mother at the stage start.

"I don't have many personal ambitions on this Tour. First I want to support Dylan Groenewegen in the sprints and Steven Kruijswijk in the flat and transitional stages," said Van Aert a few days ago. Read the full story on the cross-discipline star's first Tour de France.

Before the start of the stage, Van Avermaet said that he expected a lot of stress for the peloton on the Muur. Nice avoidance measure from him today, then.

The break are 22km into the stage, so halfway to the Muur.

172km remaining from 194km

It's 50 years since Eddy Merckx won his first Tour de France, if you're wondering about all the Merckx talk this weekend. The helicopter camera picks out a huge piece of art in a nearby field: 'Eddy'.

30km into the stage now, and the break are three minutes up on the peloton.

Here's what another home favourite, Oliver Naesen of AG2R La Mondiale, had to say before the start today.

Laurens De Plus (Jumbo-Visma) greets his fan club at the side of the road. Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-QuickStep) leads the peloton. It's a very Belgian day at the Tour de France.

Eurosport have got Wiggins out on a motorbike conducting interviews on the road – a new wrinkle for race coverage here in Britain, even if it has been used on the continent before.

The break is nearing Geraardsbergen now, and the first climb of the day. The Muur is packed with fans, unsurprisingly.

153km remaining from 194km

The break reach Geraardsbergen and hit the Muur, the first climb of the Tour de France.

Here are the details of the third-category climb.

Berhane has a go on the easier cobbles towards the bottom of the climb, but he's reeled back in.

Van Avermaet takes to the front as they hit the rougher cobbles. The hardest section is towards the top, of course.

The Belgian is racing this like it's the middle of April! He and Meurisse drop Würtz Schmidt and Berhane.

The two Belgians pass by the chapel, in between countless fans, and Van Avermaet is just too strong. He leads over the top.

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) has a mechanical and changes his bike, reports Wiggins from the moto.

148km remaining from 194km

The Belgian pair are still out front on the Bosberg. Würtz Schmidt and Berhane chase.

Meurisse leads Van Avermaet over the top, and that's all the climbing for today done.

After all the excitement of the climbs, the peloton has closed to within 2:40 of the break.

Meurisse was alone out front after his attack on the climb, but has been brought back by his breakmates now.

In the first part of a series of articles about Tours de France past, EF Education First DS Charly Wegelius reminisces about the 1987 Tour de France and the battle between Stephen Roche and Pedro Delgado.

Van Avermaet has dropped back from the break, his mission accomplished today. Just three men out front now.

135km remaining from 194km

Talk on Eurosport turns to EF leader Rigoberto Urán. A nice little factoid courtesy of Rob Hatch is that the Colombian has the fewest race kilometres in his legs in the entire peloton. He has raced just 2988 kilometres in 2019, just 19 race days.

After the intial fight to get into the break and the battle for the polka dot jersey, the race situation has calmed down.

With Van Avermaet in polka dots tomorrow, he becomes the first Belgian to lead the KOM classification since Thomas De Gendt and Jasper Stuyven in 2016.

121km remaining from 194km

Berhane has a mechanical problem but gets a quick bike change from the Cofidis team car.

Here's our latest piece of news from the Tour. It's about Gianni Moscon and his return to the race after being disqualified for throwing a punch at Élie Gesbert last year.

113km remaining from 194km

109km remaining from 194km

And the peloton pass through a few minutes later, so maybe expect the gap to go up a little.

The same trio of teams are still working at the front of the peloton for their sprinters – Deceuninck-QuickStep, Jumbo-Visma and Lotto Soudal.

97km remaining from 194km

The break pass the 100km mark. Still over 3300km left to race until Paris.

The gap to the break is down to 1:40 now. The sprinter's teams aren't going to take any chances at missing out on yellow here.

The climbs might be out of the way, but these aren't flat roads to the finish. It's up and down all the way, though nothing too arduous.

85km remaining from 194km

The break hit a soft cobbled sector and Berhane drops back to the car for a bidon. There's a 'proper' cobbled sector coming up in a few kilometres.

Stage 2 of the GIro Rosa has just finished. Stay tuned here for a full report and results from the race.

A few GC teams take to the front of the peloton, bringin the gap down to 1:15. They're anticipating the cobbled sector. Bahrain-Merida, Astana, Movistar are all there.

74km remaining from 194km

Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep) stops with a mechanical and gets a new bike.

The peloton has really shattered over that cobbled sector. There's still 72km to race, so you'd imagine it all comes back together before the end though.

Kristoff's teammate Dan Martin is off the back too.

71km remaining from 194km

One kilometre to the sprint.

Sagan takes the intermediate sprint, and is now the provisional points classification leader!

The chasing group is rather large, though the main peloton has knocked off the pace now. No worries for the chasers.

Some news about Dimension Data on day one of the Tour and things aren't looking too rosy at the team. Head of performance Rolf Aldag and team manager Doug Ryder gave contradictory accounts of the non-selection of Mark Cavendish.

Enric Mas (Deceuninck-QuickStep) had a mechanical but is quickly back up and running. Not the best luck for the Belgian team so far.

55km remaining from 194km

Rossetto has a minute on the peloton. 

48km remaining from 194km

Rossetto is eking out a bit more of a gap here. He's 1:45 up on the peloton now.

EF Education First DS Charly Wegelius opens our new series of features, with personalities from the sport looking back at past Tours de France. He looks back at the 1987 edition.

36km remaining from 194km

Back in March, Rossetto fractured his pelvis after hitting a cat while out training. He didn't race again until the Tour de Yorkshire in May, and last week took second at the French national TT championships. Now, the 32-year-old is out in the break at the first Tour de France. Quite a comeback.

Rossetto reaches the final 30km.

There's still time to listen to what Elia Viviani, Alexander Kristoff and more had to say ahead of today's stage. Listen to the Cyclingnews stage 1 preview podcast here.

Rossetto is still soldiering on. His advantage is down to 1:10 now though. It's just a matter of when the peloton want to make the catch.

19km remaining from 194km

A few riders hit the deck at the side of the peloton. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) is caught up.

A few Astana men drop back to help Fuglsang. Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) is back with them too.

Fuglsang is bleeding from above the eyebrow. 

15km remaining from 194km

Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida) has torn shorts. He went down in the crash too.

Here's our short news report on the Fuglsang crash. More to come...

11km remaining from 194km

If you're scrambling to watch the final 10km of the stage, or want a reliable way to watch the Tour de France this month, fear not because we have compiled all the ways to watch.

9km remaining from 194km

9km remaining from 194km

Astana and Fuglsang are back in the peloton now.

Our latest news piece as we await the finish of the stage. Luke Rowe talks Ineos team leader Geraint Thomas, and why the reigning champion is the Tour de France favourite.

7km remaining from 194km

Lotto, Ineos, Bora are all up front.

5km remaining from 194km

The Bora and Sunweb trains are also up at the front.

3km remaining from 194km

3km remaining from 194km

2km remaining from 194km

Oh! A big crash in the middle of the peloton. Curse of the commentator.

QuickStep and Bora hit the front in the final kilometre.

Morkov takes over from Oss.

Viviani is a long way back.

Matthews launched 300 metres out.

Colbrelli and Sagan burst past!

Sagan takes the victory! What a brutal sprint.

On the replay it looks like Sagan just missed out. It was Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) who edge it! Wow.

Caleb Ewan took third place behind Teunissen and Sagan.

Giacomo Nizzolo (Dimension Data) and Colbrelli rounded out the top five. Viviani was ninth.

Mike Teunissen, a winner of Paris-Roubaix Espoirs back in 2014, takes the yellow jersey.

Teunissen won the ZLM Tour late last month, so clearly he's in top form.

Watching a replay of the crash in the final 2km, it looked like maybe 5 or 6 yellow Jumbo jerseys were held up. Big slice of luck for them that Teunissen avoided it.

Stage result

Here's Teunissen after the stage.

We have a brief report and results up here now. Stay tuned for the full version of both.

Teunissen is the first Dutch rider to wear yellow since Erik Breukink in 1989.

A few brief words from a disappointed Caleb Ewan after taking third today.

Our full stage 1 report is up now.

Some finish line quotes from the stage have come in. Check out what Mike Teunissen, Caleb Ewan and more had to say here.

Tour de France: Geraint Thomas survives late scare after crash on stage 1

The Jumbo-Visma team had high hopes of getting the win in a bunch sprint at the end of the opening stage of the Tour de France in Brussels, Belgium. The yellow jersey would be the magnificent bonus that came with such a victory. Nobody expected that rider to be Mike Teunissen, who beat Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the stage 1 sprint after his go-to teammate Dylan Groenewegen crashed in the closing kilometres.

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