Tour de France Opening Stages: Storybook Wins and Horrendous Crashes Aérogramme with La Course en Tête 2021 at the Tour de France

The first stages of the Tour de France in Brittany made for one of the most action-packed opening weekends the race has seen—and some incredible stories right out of Hollywood.

Julian Alaphilippe dug incredibly deep to take the opening stage, and with it, the honors of being the first maillot jaune of the 2021 race. And after dedicating his stage win last year to his late father, he got to celebrate in honor of his newborn child.

And just the very next day Mathieu van der Poel would seize his own opportunity to dominate a punchy finish, taking the stage win and yellow jersey for himself, in just his first attempt at the race. And his victory brought with it the chance to honor his grandfather, the great French cyclist Raymond Poulidor, who, despite winning seven stages and three times placing second overall in the race, never spent a day in the leader’s jersey.

Mathieu van der Poel celebrating his stage 2 victory, dedicated to his grandfather. Image: Getty Images.

But the incredible displays by some of the sport’s most beloved riders was contrasted with major crashes, including the incident on stage 1 where a fan with a sign brought down much of the peloton. And there were plenty of crashes in the opening stages not caused by fans as well, leading to a debate over what’s causing them and if the race is any more dangerous than it’s ever been.

GC racers and star sprinters alike have been caught up in the mayhem. The La Course en Tête team of OJ Borg, Sophie Smith, Jeremy Whittle and Peter Cossins catch you up on where all the big names stand and who is looking on form.

Aérogramme is presented by Hyperice

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