Skip to main content

Live coverage

Virtual Tour de France stage 1 – Live coverage

Zwift Tour de france: Stage 1

Stage 1 of the Virtual Tour de France (Image credit: Zwift)

Virtual Tour de Frace race hub

Virtual Tour de France stage 1 start list

Virtual Tour de France: Exclusive stage-by-stage recon

How to watch the Virtual Tour de France – live stream, TV and results

Results

Women's stage 1

1 April Tacey (GBr) Drops 00:51:07

2 Kristin Faulkner (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank

3 Chantal Van den Broeck-Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans 00:00:01

4 Leah Dixon (GBr) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank

5 Chloe Dygert (USA) Team Twenty20

6 Tanja Erath (Ger) Canyon-SRAM

7 Heather Ludwig (Ger) Canyon-SRAM

8 Joscelin Lowden (GBr) Drops

9 Jessica Pratt (Aus) Canyon-SRAM 00:00:02

10 Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA) Rally Cycling

Men's stage 1

1 Ryan Gibbons (SAf) NTT Pro Cycling 00:45:17

2 Pier-Andre Cote (Can) Rally Cycling

3 Nico Schulz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 00:00:01

4 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix

5 Freddy Ovett (GBr) Israel Start-Up Nation

6 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) NTT Pro Cycling

7 Matteo Dal-Cin (Can) Rally Cycling

8 Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal

9 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team

10 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Ineos 00:00:02

Refresh

Hello and welcome to our first ever live coverage of a virtual race, stage 1 of the Virtual Tour de France.

In a normal year, we'd be bringing you live coverage of stage 8 of the real Tour de France, from Cazères to Loudenvielle, but with the COVID-19 pandemic meaning the race has been postponed to August and September, this Zwift reimagining of the Tour has sprung up to keep us occupied throughout July. 

Stage 1 is set to get underway in half an hour, and there's a plethora of viewing options available. Check them out here in our 'how to watch' guide.

There are plenty of stars on the start list today, including Michał Kwiatkowski, Kasper Asgreen, Oliver Naesen, Mathieu van der Poel, Greg Van Avermaet, Mads Pedersen and Michael Matthews.

In the women's race we'll see Chantal van den Broeck-Blaak, Amy Pieters, Chloe Dygert-Owen, and Elisa Longo Borghini.

Check out the full start list for stage 1 here.

We're about to go live in just a few minutes. The excitement is palpable!

And we're off! It's the women's race up first.

Today's stage is a 9.1km loop with 108m of climbing, which will be traversed four times by both the men's and women's pelotons, covering a total digital distance of 36.4 km (22.8 mi) and an ascent of 432 m (1,416 ft). 

After a short, rolling section, the first sprint of the day comes as riders approach JWB bridge at 2.4km. The sprint is a 200m, pan flat segment that is sure to be lively as teams look to open their accounts in a bid for the coveted green jersey.

A further rolling section follows before the test of the route, the Zwift KOM / QOM reverse climb. A 2.4km section that averages just 2 per cent, it'll be an early indicator as to which riders are on form for the impending season restart.

Zwift Tour de France stage 1 elevation

(Image credit: zwift)

Here's the profile of today's stage.

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak and Amy Pieters of Boels Dolmans are up front early on, but it's a mid-sized group forming here.

29km remaining

After 10 minutes, the riders have covered 7km of the 36km course

Erica Magnaldi (Ceratizit-WNT) led Joscelin Lowden (Drops) over the first QOM of the race. 

That's 10 points for her with three more times up the hill to come.

Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) has put in an attack and she's pushing big watts to try and stay away – over 400 at the moment.

She crosses a bridge on Watopia and passes under the sprint banner for 10 points. The main peloton brings her back soon afterwards.

Some riders are struggling off the back after that effort from Longo Borghini. There is virtual drafting on Zwift, of course, so the effort and struggle is real.

23km remaining

They're speeding along at 47kph at the moment, heading towards the base of the second climb of the race.

Longo Borghini, Blaak-van den Broeck, Dygert... There are plenty of big names in this lead group as they hit the climb.

Kristen Faulkner (Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank) put in a stint on the front before dropping away.

Magnaldi is on the front now, she's been up front quite often today.

20km remaining

Lowden beat Magnani to the top of the second climb of the day.

It was a close-run thing at the top, with the two women sprinting it out to get across the line first.

The peloton pass through the finish line; they're at the halfway point now.

...and Longo Borghini clips off the front again, eager for more points.

She's seven seconds up on the peloton and duly takes the sprint points once more.

As she did on the last lap, Longo Borghini drops back to the peloton, her job done. It's clear she's here for the green jersey.

Here's a look at the race, with the peloton rolling along 14.5km from the finish. Two climbs to go.

A shot of stage 1 of the Virtual Tour de France

(Image credit: Zwift)

They head uphill for the third time. A number of them are activating the featherweight power-up, which reduces their weight by 15lbs for 15 seconds.

Magnaldi made a move again, but is back with the group now.

Magnaldi battles with Lowden and her Drops teammate April Tacey at the top. Lowden leads them over the climb.

10km remaining

Lowden got detached from the group on that descent but she's back on now.

The group pass the finish line once more. The next time around they'll be competing for the win!

There aren't many riders left in the group now, maybe 15 or so.

The camera focusses on Tanja Erath (Canyon-SRAM). She's one of the riders who turned pro after making it through the Zwift Academy, so she has a lot of experience at this type of virtual racing.

5km remaining

There are some big names still in the main group - Van den Broeck-Blaak, Longo Borghini and Dygert are all there. Lowdern and Magnaldi, who have been very active today, are there too.

They're about to hit the final ascent of the race!

Once again, a few riders are using the weight power up on this climb.

It may be virtual, but it's still tough as Magnaldi and Longo Borghini push the pace at the front. Riders are standing up on their trainers, straining to stay in touch here.

Chantal Van den Broeck-Blaak used her ghost power-up to sneak off the front, but Magnaldi makes her way back. Lowden uses her featherweight power-up and surges past!

But it's Magnaldi who clinches the final climb of the day, just outsprinting Lowden to the line. That was close.

1.5km remaining

Not long to go now, and riders come back on the descent.

Blaak, Lowden, Magnaldi, Dygert, Dixon, Ludwig, Tacey are all up there.

It's a small group contesting the sprint for victory.

More riders make their way back. Dygert launches first!

April Tacey (Drops) uses a power-up at just the right time though, and powers past the American to take the win!

Here's a shot of the sprint for the line.

The finish of the stage 1 virtual Tour de France women

(Image credit: Zwift)

Here's the top ten today.

1 April Tacey (GBr) Drops 00:51:07

2 Kristin Faulkner (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank

3 Chantal Van den Broeck-Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans 00:00:01

4 Leah Dixon (GBr) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank

5 Chloe Dygert (USA) Team Twenty20

6 Tanja Erath (Ger) Canyon-SRAM

7 Heather Ludwig (Ger) Canyon-SRAM

8 Joscelin Lowden (GBr) Drops

9 Jessica Pratt (Aus) Canyon-SRAM 00:00:02

10 Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA) Rally Cycling

So that's the first race of the day one of the first ever Virtual Tour de France done with. It was quite an exciting finish, with a group of riders sprinting it out at the line.

The men's race is up next with the likes of Van Avermaet, Kwiatkowski, Matthews and Van der Poel set to battle it out on the same course.

Some July 4 deals for you before the mens' race gets underway.

4th of July bike sales: Where to find the best cycling sales

And here's a roundup of the best deals for this year's July 4 celebrations.

4th of July sales: The best cycling deals

The men's race is underway in the meantime, and they're already approaching the first sprint of the race.

It was Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) vs  Gerben Thijssen (Lotto-Soudal) at the line and it looks like Impey took it.

32km remaining

The group is all together at the moment as they approach the first climb of the day.

Rafael Valls (Bahrain McLaren) has put in an attack on the lower slopes of the climb, but a group of riders are chasing him down.

Dan McLay (Arkéa-Samsic) has a go now.

Philipp Walsleben (Alpecin-Fenix) leads over the climb, ahead of Valls.

Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) hits the front on the descent.

The riders are all back together here. It's not the most taxing course to kick the race off.

Impey goes for the second sprint of the day, and he takes it pretty easily.

24km remaining

They're biding their time until the second climb now. Will attacks fly on the hill?

A few riders are hanging off the back of the group already.

Numerous riders are activating their lightweight power-ups on the climb, a little boost to save some energy.

Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos) shows his face up front.

AG2R's Ben Gastauer pushes on near the top of the climb but its Walsleben who makes it across the line first. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT Pro Cycling) takes second.

20km remaining

They fly downhill now, with just under 20km to race.

15km remaining

2019 Tour stage winner Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) took the sprint points ahead of Boasson Hagen. We're on the way to the next climb of the day now.

Here's a shot of the peloton on the virtual road.

Virtual Tour de France stage 1

(Image credit: Zwift)

The peloton has thinned down to around 25-30 riders as approach the third climb.

Walsleben goes for it near the top but Freddy Ovett of Israel Start-Up Nation just nips it at the line.

10km remaining

The peloton catches the attackers on the descent.

Van der Poel is up front as the riders head into the final lap. He could be saving his energy for the dash to the line.

He's been quiet so far today but would be one of the favourites at the line.

Van der Poel isn't going to be at the real Tour de France this year, of course. His Alpecin-Fenix team didn't receive an invitation to any of the Grand Tours.

Here's Van der Poel in his pain cave alongside virtual VDP.

virtual Tour de France stage 1 vdp

(Image credit: Zwift)

Harry Sweeny of Lotto Soudal took the final sprint of the day, beating
Reinard Janse Van Rensburg to the line.

3km remaining

Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Ineos) is up front as they hit the climb. Sivakov and Boasson Hagen are up there too, as the big hitters move to the front at this crucial stage of the race.

Walsleben jumped off the front and just clinched the points at the top once again.

They'll descend to the finish now. Not long to go.

1km remaining

It should be a sprint –  who will take it?

Kwiatkowski is back up front again, using his aero power-up.

300 metres to go now!

Boasson Hagen hits the front leading out teammate Ryan Gibbons, who uses his power-up at just the right time.

Ryan Gibbons (NTT Pro Cycling Team) takes the win on the opening stage!

South African champion Ryan Gibbons after his victory.

virtual Tour de France stage 1 Gibbons

(Image credit: Zwift)

Here's the top ten.

1 Ryan Gibbons (SAf) NTT Pro Cycling 00:45:17

2 Pier-Andre Cote (Can) Rally Cycling

3 Nico Schulz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 00:00:01

4 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix

5 Freddy Ovett (GBr) Israel Start-Up Nation

6 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) NTT Pro Cycling

7 Matteo Dal-Cin (Can) Rally Cycling

8 Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal

9 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team

10 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Ineos 00:00:02

Our stage reports are up. Read the women's and men's reports here.

That's all for our live coverage of stage 1 of the Virtual Tour de France. Be sure to check out our stage reports too!

Latest on Cyclingnews