Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) won a dramatic Stage 1 of the Tour de France on Saturday.
However, four-time winner Chris Froome was caught up in a crash with just over 6km to go, and, speaking on The Breakaway after the race, 2012 winner Bradley Wiggins said the pile-up had put paid to Froome’s outside hopes of contending on GC. Froome came in 14:37 down on stage winner Alaphilippe.
“We saw Chris Froome finishing up way back a while ago,” began Wiggins.
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That puts paid to him contending for this GC at the Tour de France. But we’re still trying to soak it up and get information.
Froome’s crash was not the only spill of the day. Earlier – with about 47km to go – an overzealous fan contrived to hit Tony Martin with a placard causing a huge pile-up that brought down most of the rest of the peloton, with Wout van Aert, Primoz Roglic (both Jumbo–Visma), Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) and Marc Soler (Movistar) coming down hard.
However, Wiggins, talking on the post-race show, said that those sort of incidents were part of the Tour.
“It’s part and parcel of the spectacle of the Tour de France. The roads are so narrow, everyone is so nervous in Brittany," said Wiggins.
Highlights: Alaphilippe takes brilliant solo win after two huge pile-ups on Stage 1
‘He is the world’s best’
Deceuninck-QuickStep rider Alaphilippe managed to emerge from a crash-laden stage to win and take the maillot jaune and Wiggins lavished the world champion with praise.
“It’s so predictable, he’s been accustomed to doing this," began Wiggins. "When he does it it’s devastating. It’s not that they let him do it, I just don’t think anyone can live with him when he makes this move. He’s the world champion, he lives up to his name in everything he does."
He is the world’s best bike rider. He’s taken that over from [Peter] Sagan a couple of years ago, he’s a phenomenal athlete and it’s not to be underestimated what he is achieving. With the carnage we had today as well... he’s got blood on his leg but the first stage of the Tour de France, a yellow jersey, it doesn’t get much better than that.
'He is the world’s best bike rider' - Wiggins after Alaphilippe ‘devastating’ Stage 1 win
The Tour continues on Sunday with the 183.5km Stage 2 from Perros-Guirec to Mur-de-Bretagne where a similar punchy uphill ramp should give Alaphilippe’s rivals a chance to bite back – or see the fantastic Frenchman double up in Brittany.
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