The winners of the virtual Tour de France will therefore remember that it was a South African who donned the first yellow jersey in history. On Saturday, Ryan Gibbons (NTT Pro Cycling Team) won the inaugural stage in sprint by taking advantage of the effects of… technology specific to e-cycling. On his home trainer installed in his living room, the champion of South Africa had the good idea to activate his “Power Up” (increase in power) to stand out in the final stretch.
And for the rest, what can we learn from this baptism of fire? If the formula launched by Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) in association with the Zwift application (well known to cyclists training on their home trainer) is retransmitted in 130 countries, it is that some must find their account there. But let’s say it straight away, this first step did not really offer the big thrill to the private viewers of Tour de France in July.
The great leaders expected later
No or few great leaders of the peloton, almost no attack, and at the finish, therefore, a winner unknown to the general public. On Francetvsport, comments by Frenchman Yoann Offredo, not really a fan of the discipline, gave the show some relief.
Like the images of the Belgian Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet grimacing on his bike or of the Dutch prodigy Mathieu Van der Poel installed in his garage. “I salute the great initiative of the organizers, savored Ryan Gibbons live. It is really very special to be part of this adventure. “
Listening to him, one would think the interested party already completely seduced by the concept except that Gibbons decided not to defend his yellow jersey this Sunday on the second stage. On “a more hilly course”, the British Geraint Thomas (Ineos) or the Colombian Roberto Uran (EF Drapac) are however announced. Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) had to give up after being hit by a car in training on Friday in Colombia.
The Bernal, Froome and Alaphilippe are expected next weekend.