Without crowded fans and grand launching ceremony, the 2020 Tour de France kicked off on a rainy Saturday in southern France city Nice, which was famous for its warm sunshine and beautiful beach.
After several crashes inside the final three kilometers, Alexander Kristoff of UAE Emirates currently won the yellow jersey after the 156-kilometer stage one.
Key victims of the crashes included French hopes Thibaut Pinot and Julian Alaphilippe, with Colombia’s Astana captain Miguel Angel Lopez suffering a jaw-dropping downhill slide that saw him slam face-first into a traffic sign.
Ineos’ defending champion Egan Bernal largely avoided the trouble and finished in the peloton.
The 107th edition of the world elite cycling event has been postponed by two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organizers strengthen their protocols to fight against the coronavirus only a few hours before the start by deciding that teams will be expelled from the race if two or more of their members, including staff, test positive for COVID-19 within a week.
There are 22 squads of eight riders competing at the Tour which consisted of 21 stages over the course of 23 days, but a total of 30 members per team when staff are included.
The riders are to face a 186-kilometer mountainous second stage on Sunday, with two climbs above 1,500m.