It was his first taste of the Tour de France – his debut start, first stage, and his maiden victory. Fernando Gaviria of Quick Step became the first Colombian to win a bunch sprint of the Tour de France and the second Colombian to take the yellow jersey as he outclassed second-placed Peter Sagan and third rider home Marcel Kittel in Fontenay-le-Comte overnight.
The finish and indeed whole stage were raced faster than expected and not without damage for the favourites including Chris Froome, Richie Porte, Adam Yates and Nairo Quintana – who all lost a significant amount of time in crashes and mechanicals.
Froome, Porte, Yates and Quintana with a deficit
The stage was filled with the type of drama the Tour is famous for. Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) and Robert Craddock (Education First) and there were more to come in the final 5km. Porte was held up behind a crash but remained upright, and managed to remount and finish the stage without serious injuries. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) had a mechanical with 3.4km to go and lost more than a minute.
Describing the feeling on the road as “pretty nervous out there”, Porte said the sketchy start was “not ideal”.
“I think Quintana has probably lost more [than me],” he said. “Froome was there, and Yates was there. That’s the Tour. I was pretty close to coming down. It’s the first day of the Tour and it’s not ideal. But there’s a long way [to go] and it’s just nice to finally start the race. Guys took time today but who’s to say the same doesn’t happen to them tomorrow.”
2018 Tour de France Top 10, Stage 1
|1||Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors||4:23:32|
|2||Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|3||Marcel Kittel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin|
|4||Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates|
|5||Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|6||Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo|
|7||Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb|
|8||John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo|
|9||Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team|
|10||Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe|