Paris, Aug 30 : Without crowded fans and grand launching ceremony, the 2020 Tour de France was kicked off on a rainy day in southern France city Nice, which is famous for its warm sunshine and beautiful beach.
It was a rainy Saturday which witnessed several crashes inside the final 3 km of the 156 km stage one. Alexander Kristoff of UAE Emirates won the yellow jersey, reports Xinhua news agency.
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 organisers strengthened 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 were 22 squads of eight riders competing in the Tour, which consisted of 21 stages over the course of 23 days, but a total of 30 members per team when staff is included. The riders are to face a 186-kilometre mountainous second stage on Sunday, with two climbs above 1,500m.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.