Arguably the greatest long-break rider of his generation, De Gendt finds that the route suits his skills. A victory would bring him his third Tour de France stage win and the first yellow jersey in his career.
Last year, De Gendt soloed to a heroic victory in Saint-Étienne. Attacking from the gun, the Belgian was joined by three other breakaway specialists on the tough route through the Massif Central with approximately 3,750 vertical metres. The opener of the 2020 Tour de France is not that hard, but it certainly is not a typical sprint stage.
The out-and-back race in Nice serves four uphills. Three times the route climbs to Aspremont, which is an ascent of 11.4 kilometres and the gradient hovers around 4%. The last time through Aspremont is followed by a short descent before an 8 kilometres climb at 4% leads to Levens.
Following a descent of 11 kilometres the last 30 kilometres are played out on the flat.
Favourites 1st stage 2020 Tour de France
*** Thomas De Gendt, Alexander Kristoff, Peter Sagan
** Matteo Trentin, Wout Van Aert, Greg Van Avermaet, Caleb Ewan
* Sam Bennett, Giacomo Nizzolo, Michal Kwiatkowski, Philippe Gilbert, Cees Bol
Another interesting read: route of the 1st stage of the Tour de France.