Froome limits losses after early crash

07 Jul 2018

Froome limits losses after early crash

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Chris Froome battled back to limit his losses after a crash and a chaotic finish to stage one at the Tour de France.

What had been a straightforward day quickly turned into a hectic dash for home, with Froome being edged off the road and into a field with around six kilometres remaining.
 
The defending champion was able to quickly remount and join a large chasing group of riders after the peloton had split in a large crash 11km from home.
 
Froome eventually crossed the line 51 seconds back on stage winner Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), with the stage decided in a nervous bunch kick.
 
Geraint Thomas led the team home, digging deep to finish 14th and firmly amongst the lead group in Fontenay-le-Comte.
 
Back at the bus Froome said: “I saw a lot of crashes out there today. It’s just one of those things. We always knew the first few days were going to be tricky and going to be sketchy. It’s part of the game unfortunately.
 
“We were right at the front part of the peloton in the top third. There wasn’t too much more the guys could have done. It was getting quite chaotic with some of the sprinters there, but that’s bike racing. I’m just grateful I’m not injured in any way and there’s a lot of road to cover before Paris obviously.”
Chris Froome

Chris Froome

I’m just grateful I’m not injured in any way and there’s a lot of road to cover before Paris obviously.
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Luke Rowe and Gianni Moscon quickly dropped back to help pace Froome’s group, which also included GC contenders Richie Porte (BMC Racing) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), who were held up by the previous crash. A bruising finish also caught out Egan Bernal, who went down as the road quickly narrowed inside the final 10km. The Colombian was able to remount and also finished the 201-kilometre stage.

Thomas was happy to avoid the trouble, and after the stage he confirmed: "It wasn't a super hard day and there was no real wind but then the last 20km was pretty bonkers. But you get used to it, that's what the Tour is like. It's always nice to get through unscathed and tick one off. 20 to go!"

Sport Director Nicolas Portal explained that hectic finishes are nothing new at the Tour. He said: "It is a tricky finish and just the typical fight between sprinters and GC guys. Everyone wants to be on the front, especially ahead of the 3km marker. It's the normal tension which is slightly higher than the other Grand Tours."

Following the sprint Gaviria pulled on the first maillot jaune of the race, with Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) rounding out the podium places.
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Stage one result:
 
1. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) 4:23:32
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) s.t.
3. Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin)
4. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Emirates)
5. Christophe Laporte (Cofidis)
14. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
91. Chris Froome (Team Sky) +51”
113. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) +1:15"

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