The opener of the Tour de France takes in the Tour of Flanders icons Wall of Geraardsbergen and Bosberg, yet these hills come too early to have any impact on the battle for the first maillot jaune. The polka dot jersey is something else though…
Really, a bunch sprint is the only likely outcome of the 1st stage. All riders are full of vigour and ambitious to ride the Tour de France of their lives. Obviously, the sprint teams have a clear-cut objective: their fast man in the yellow jersey.
Given his 2019 credentials, Groenewegen is the sprinter to beat. He won ten races, Ewan nine, Viviani took six sprints, Kristoff four, while Sagan powered to three wins.
Groenewegen and Gaviria won two fast finisher showdowns in last year’s Tour de France, while Sagan, Démare and Kristoff took the other bunch sprints. Out of these five, only Groenewegen, Sagan and Kristoff are participating this year.
Timing will be crucial in this sprint, as the last 500 metres run uphill at 4%.
Favourites 1st stage 2019 Tour de France
*** Dylan Groenewegen, Elia Viviani, Caleb Ewan
** Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews, Alexander Kristoff
* Sonny Colbrelli, André Greipel, Christophe Laporte, Giacomo Nizzolo
Take a look at the route of the 1st stage on the Tour de France.
Tour de France 2019 stage 1: profile and finale
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