2021 Tour de France S1: French hero! World champion storms to win the yellow jersey
On June 26, the first stage of the Tour de France ended. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) brought a brilliant offense at the end, flew solo with absolute strength, won the stage championship as a world champion, and put on the yellow jersey as he wished.
Unlike the previous ITT as the opener, the first stage of this year's Tour de France is 197.8km in length, and includes a number of less difficult climbs. Sprinters and breakout cyclists all hope to compete for the championship. It is worth mentioning that the cyclist who won the championship in the first stage can take the lead in wearing the overall result to lead the yellow jersey. This honor will inspire the cyclists to go all out to the finish line.
▲The new king of the Tour de France and the former overlord
184 cyclists started today’s race, of which 45 cyclists made their debut in the Tour de France. After the neutral riding was over, Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka Assos) immediately led the acceleration, and the cyclists began to grab a place in the breakout group. In the first 7km of the race, several cyclists briefly opened a gap. The speed of the main group once exceeded 70km/h, and the race is about to come to the first climb.
In the first level 4 climb, Victor Campenaerts accelerated again, withstood the chase of the cyclist behind him, and successfully won the only 1 point for the climbing point. The main group returned to calm briefly, but after 10km, several cyclists accelerated again to break through. This time, Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Cristian Rodriguez (Total Direct Energie), Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty) -Gobert Matériaux) and Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels p/b KTM) five successfully left and soon led the main group by more than one minute. Connor Swift (Arkea-Samsic) was chasing between the two groups alone.
Soon, Connor Swift caught up with the five people in front, and the main group slackened. The time gap between the two groups quickly rose to three and a half minutes. In the second 4th grade climb, Danny van Poppel took the lead and won 1 Minute. In front of the main group, the Alpecin-Fenix team and the Deceuninck-QuickStep team each sent a cyclist to control the pace of the race. They have to save their energy for their main players, Mathieu van der Poel and Julian Alaphilippe, and prepare for the final battle.
The competition came to the slightly more difficult level 3 climbing. Anthony Perez and Ide Schelling attacked. They passed the climbing points successively and got 2 points and 1 point respectively. For a long time, the Deceuninck-QuickStep team continued to lead the ride, followed by Ineos Grenadiers and UAE Team Emirates. Each team was carefully protecting its own main cyclist.
▲Tim Declercq has undertaken many leading tasks
In the forthcoming third level 4 climb, Ide Schelling attacked and left, won the climb points, and led the breakout group for 55 seconds in the final 80km, opening the solo mode. In the final 66km of the race, UAE Team Emirates led the main group to recover the remaining five breakout cyclists. Only Ide Schelling was left in front of the breakout, leading the main group by 2 minutes and 45 seconds.
Ide Schelling successfully passed the sprint point on the way, the main group behind began to accelerate, and all sprint teams came to the front of the group, ready to grab the remaining sprint points. At the sprint point on the way, the Lotto Soudal team topped the front and launched Caleb Ewan, followed by Peter Sagan and Michael Matthews. Mathieu van der Poel, Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel and others did not participate in the sprint. In such a small-scale sprint battle, Caleb Ewan, Peter Sagan, and Michael Matthews all had reservations, and after passing the sprint points in turn, they quickly returned to the main group.
▲The Alpecin-Fenix team wore a special edition jersey in the first stage to commemorate the legendary cyclist, Mathieu van der Poel's grandfather, Raymond Poulidor. The team will switch back to regular uniforms from the second stage
Ide Schelling was in a good mood and passed the fourth level 4 climbing point solo. The main group then arrived, speeding up slightly on the downhill section, and the narrow road was crowded with cyclists. But at this moment, a car fan on the side of the road invaded the track holding a card. Tony Martin (Team Jumbo–Visma) could not avoid it. After the crash, a chain reaction was triggered. The group crashed and nearly 60 cyclists fell to the ground. The scene was chaotic.
This stupid car fan caused heavy losses to the main group, injured the cyclist, and damaged the equipment. I hope he will be severely punished. The Deceuninck-QuickStep team was not affected much, and the team slowed down and waited for the cyclists to fall behind. At this time, behind the group, Wout Van Aert, Peter Sagan, Miguel Angel Lopez, Sonny Colbrelli and others struggled to catch up, Tony Martin chased after injury, and Jasha Sütterlin (DSM) regretted to retreat.
The race entered the final 35km, the main group gradually recovered, and the Deceuninck-QuickStep team began to lead the acceleration, 1 minute and 30 seconds behind Ide Schelling. The lagging cyclists gradually returned to the main group, and the QuickStep team struggled to lead the ride. In the last 28km, Ide Schelling's breakout trip ended, and the teams began to line up.
The Ineos Grenadiers team led the main group into the last 10km, Team Jumbo-Visma, Deceuninck-QuickStep and other teams also came to the front, and the big group entered the last 8km in a mighty manner. The cyclists still had lingering fears about the crash of the previous group, but before everyone recovered, another large-scale crash occurred on the right rear of the group. More than 40 people fell to the ground, including Christopher Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation), and fell to the ground. Can't get up after a long time.
The Deceuninck-QuickStep team in front of the group was very lucky. The two crashes hardly affected this "wolf pack" team. They took Julian Alaphilippe and started to accelerate wildly. The last 3km is the last level 3 climb of this stage. Mathieu van der Poel, Wout Van Aert, Sonny Colbrelli, Michael Matthews and others are in front of the group, waiting for the final blow.
In the last 2.3km, Julian Alaphilippe gave it a go and flew away. The rapid acceleration made everyone stunned. Pierre Latour (Total Direct Energie) reacted quickly, Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogacar cooperated in the pursuit, and Mathieu van der Poel followed the two Slovenians. In the last 1km, the chasing group had more than enough heart but not enough power. Julian Alaphilippe got more and more courageous, and left the small group far behind and galloped towards the finish line.
The effort paid off. Julian Alaphilippe took the lead in crossing the line with an 8-second advantage. A French cyclist wore a world championship jersey to win the first stage. The audience was excited. Michael Matthews crossed the line in second place, Primož Roglič was third, and Tadej Pogacar, who was in the same group, finished sixth.
After the stage, Julian Alaphilippe put on the yellow jersey as he wished, and received the green jersey at the same time. Ide Schelling won the climbing polka dot jersey and the stage Combativity award, and Tadej Pogacar won the best young cyclist white jersey.