Alexander Kristoff timed his sprint finish to perfection to win the opening stage of the Tour de France in Nice.
After a large group crashed inside the final 3km, Norwegian Kristoff, 33, surged home in a sprint also involving Ireland’s Sam Bennett, who was fourth.
Rain made the roads treacherous and led to several crashes, with Pavel Sivakov of Team Ineos twice coming off.
Ineos’ defending champion Egan Bernal largely avoided the trouble and finished safely in the peloton.
On Sunday the riders face a 186km mountainous second stage, with two passages over 1,500m.
- ‘Definitely a change in yellow jersey on stage two’ – Adam Yates’ stage guide
- Stage one as it happened
Stage one result
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor/UAE-Team Emirates) 3hrs 46mins 23seconds
2. Mads Pedersen (Den/Trek-Segafredo) Same time
3. Cees Bol (Ned/Sunweb)
4. Sam Bennett (Ire/Deceuninck-Quick Step)
5. Peter Sagan (Slo/Bora-Hansgrohe)
6. Elia Viviani (Ita/Cofidis)
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/NTT)
8. Bryan Coquard (Fra/B&B)
9. Anthony Turgis (Fra/Total Direct Energie)
10. Jasper Stuyen (Bel/Trek-Segafredo)