Tour de France 2024: Bardet wins brutal first stage as Cavendish struggles in heat – as it happened | Tour de France 2024

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With that, I’ll be wrapping up today’s live blog. Thanks for all your emails and for following along to that nervy finish for Cav.

Here’s the report from stage one of the Tour:

Good work from the Astana team to get Cav over the line, he looks alright:

Cavendish has finished!

He’s inside the cutoff, coming in 39mins 12 secs after Bardet. Assuming he’s fine to continue, he’ll be on the start line tomorrow.

Mark Cavendish and his Astana Qazaqstan teammates cross the finish line. Photograph: Molly Darlington/Reuters

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A few jersey updates, Abrahamsen will take the polka dots, Van Den Broek gets the green points jersey as the leader in that classification on 33 points and 24-year-old Maxim Van Gils of Lotto-Dstny will take the best young rider’s white jersey.

Jonas Abrahamsen, wearing the best climber’s polka dot jersey, celebrates on the podium. Photograph: Daniel Cole/AP

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The cutoff has been set at just over 49 minutes after the winner, Cavendish has not crossed the line yet but has 22 minutes to make it.

Cavendish update: He’s still out on the road, but ITV reckon he’s comfortably within the time limit. I’ll keep you posted on his progress.

Here’s the top ten after stage one:

1. Romain Bardet (FRA) Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL – 5:07:22

2. Frank van den Broek (NED) Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL – same time

3. Wout van Aert (BEL) Team Visma – Lease a Bike +5secs

4. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates – same time

5. Maxim Van Gils (BEL) Lotto – Dstny – same time

6. Alex Aranburu (ESP) Movistar Team – same time

7. Mads Pedersen (DEN) Lidl-Trek – same time

8. Remco Evenepoel (BEL) Soudal-Quick-Step – same time

9. Pello Bilbao (ESP) Bahrain Victorious – same time

10. Alberto Bettiol (ITA) EF Education–EasyPost – same time

Here’s the moment Bardet crossed the line:

As he crossed the line Bardet pointed to his teammate to credit him with delivering the victory, Van Aert finished third on the stage – looks like he’s in form.

Romain Bardet wins stage one of the Tour de France and takes yellow!

The sprinters couldn’t make an impact and the DSM pair cross 150m ahead of the bunch. What a performance from Van Den Broek, he did the big turns in those last five kilometres.

Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL rider Romain Bardet (right) crosses the finish line just ahead of his teammate Frank Van Den Broek to win the first stage. Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA

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1km to go: DSM have this!

2km to go: Gap is now ten seconds, DSM still in the lead. Incredible racing!

3km to go: The peloton has the leaders in its sight, gap down to less than 20 seconds.

4km to go: The DSM riders are being encouraged on over team radio, the gap isn’t coming down that quickly now. Maybe this could happen for Bardet? Lidl-Trek is at the front trying to get that split down.

7km to go: DSM efforts looks set to fall short, the gap is now just 36secs. The remanining favourites are you’d think are Pedersen, Ciccone, Bettiol, Van Aert and Pidcock.

Quick explainer on the cutoff rules:

The time cut varies by stage. It is dependent on the difficulty of the stage and the average speed of the winner. The difficulty of each stage is determined on tiers of one to six, known as a ‘coefficient’. Flat stages get a tier one coefficient rating and that goes up based on difficulty. The average speed of the winner is combined with the stage’s coefficient to determine a percentage by which the cutoff is calculated from leaders.

Stage one is rated as third tier coefficient with, so with the average speed so of more than 44kph it looks like the cutoff will be 20% of the winner’s finishing time.

16km to go: A quick Cavendish update, his Astana group is more than 30 minutes back but that’s likely to be OK in terms of the cutoff. Fabio Jakobsen, another sprint favourite with DSM, is with him.

17km to go: Wout van Aert is still with the peloton, we’ll find out how good his legs are if this all comes together.

19km to go: Bardet and Van Den Broek are still pushing at the front but the gap to the peloton has fallen to 1min 20secs.

27km to go: Ineos and Lidl-Trek now on the front of the peloton in a bid to bring back the DSM pair, about half a kilometre to the summit, then it’ll be flat out on the descent to Rimini. Bardet still has a 1min 50 secs lead, he wants that first ever yellow jersey – remarkable given his career that he’s never worn it.

28km to go: Bettiol, Mads Pedersen and Pidcock might all be thinking about a stage win now if the peloton can draw back the DSM riders.

31km to go: Healy has ditched Madouas but is yet to make much of a dent into the lead of the DSM pair. The question now is how much time can Bardet and Van Den Broek put into the peloton? It’s currently hovering around two minutes with 4km to the final summit.

32km to go: Healy has now picked up Madouas but they remain more than a minute behind the DSM riders.

38km to go: Healy is on the descent and is one minute behind Bardet, the peloton are a 1min 45secs further back.

40km to go: Will the DSM riders let Madouas take the latest mountain points in exchange for a bit of help? No, the Groupama-FDJ has blown up and been dropped. Abrahamsen will likely be in the polka dots then.

41km to go: Abrahamsen has gone from the lead group as Bardet and DSM teammate Van Den Broek power on with Madouas in tow. Irishman Ben Healy of EF has gone away from the peloton, can he make a play and bridge over to the leaders who are 1min 06 sec up the road?

Ben Healy goes on the attack. Photograph: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

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49km to go: Bardet latches on to Van Den Broek and the DSM-Firmenich PostNL pair set off in pursuit of Abrahamsen and Madouas at the front. The Uno-X Mobility rider, Abrahamsen, can’t take maximum mountain points this time but he’s probably in the polkadot jersey with those latest additions.

50km to go: Romain Bardet is attacking off the front of the peloton and no one is going with him right now, he’s got 40 secs already and a teammate ahead of him to help out.


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Eric Farquharson makes a good point on the Olympics:

The Olympic peloton is virtually half the size of the Tour de France due to IOC restrictions on team sizes. I would say that a stage win or podium places in the Tour are far more influential for future contracts and therefore salary expectations than an Olympic medal.

This is what I was getting at earlier when I referred to the race as a bit of a crapshoot. Small teams and parcours designed around local landmarks can lead to races where winners can come from anywhere, so not exactly consistent with who is having a good season.

55km to go: The riders have flown down the descent from the Cote de Barbotto and steaming towards the Cote de San Leo. The breakaway, down to five riders without Izagirre, leads by the peloton by 2mins 18secs.

The lead breakaway descends Cote de Barbotto. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

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71km to go: We’re in pirate country and someone has painted the Italian legend’s name all over the road on the climb, maybe inspired and with Izagirre gone Abrahamsen bursts away takes maxium mountain points from Madouas and Van Den Broek.

Tributes are paid to Marco Pantano on the Barbotto ascent. Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images

William Fotheringham’s latest read on Marco Pantani is well worth your time:


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72km to go: Izagirre going out the back of the lead group, he’s looked strong most of the day but perhaps those efforts earlier have sapped the legs. With the peloton now just 2mins 40secs behind the break, he might be seeing the GC teams quite soon.

More on the Olympic question from Martin O’Donovan-Wright:

In the professional peleton, for the vast majority of riders, an Olympic medal would certainly be regarded below not only a successful Tour de France (podium, or stage wins), but also the Giro, and certainly all the monuments. The sport is admirably self-contained, always with a nod to the history of these illustrious races.

That’s how I’d view it too and I imagine most hardcore cycling fans would feel the same. Although track cycling of course is vastly different.

74km to go: The peloton has brought down the gap to the main group to 3mins 44secs. UAE, Pogačar’s team, have taken over at the front the chase group after a big shift from EF-Education Easypost to cut that time down to the front of the race.

Claus Lund asks a good question:

What is going on with the big names such as Tadej Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard. The latter in his first race after his very bad accident and Pogačar looking to win after two years’ frustration. How are they performing today so far?

We’ve had one update on Vingegaard by way of the team radio, which suggested he was feeling fine on the first category two climb of the stage – that is good news on his return. Very little to say about Pogačar so far, he’s well-placed in the peloton. Both had full teams around them in the main group.

Nicolas De Smet has an answer to the Olympics question:

Olympics are great but I think that a Tour de France win (prestigious stage or overall rankings) trumps that.

Who remembers Olympic gold? Who remembers Tour de France?

Also fairly few riders are qualified for the Olympics.

88km to go: Breakaway has a five-minute gap as they head towards Cote de Barbotto, the stage’s next category two climb. EF are on the front of the peloton but the gap is holding firm.

The peloton on the Barbotto ascent. Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images

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If anyone has thoughts on Andrew’s question, or anything else, do get in touch.

Great question from Andrew Benton via email:

Do you think the riders will take fewer risks this year? I imagine a fair number will be representing their countries at the Olympics, and would be loath to risk missing their chance because of injury, whatever team orders say.

A look at the list of medallists for the road race going back to Sydney is quite baffling – Jan Ullrich, Paolo Bettini, Samuel Sánchez, Alexander Vinokourov, Greg Van Avermaet and Richard Carapaz – it’s probably an illustration of the varied courses set out by Olympic hosts. I’ve never been convinced it’s that big a draw for riders, just because it’s a bit of a crapshoot. I suppose the big question for me is who leads the Slovenian team?


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