Photo gallery: Four exciting days to open the 2019 Tour de France

by Matt de Neef

Let’s be honest: the start of the Tour de France can tend to be a little dull. Long and flat stages, sprint finishes — the opening days often feel like the entree before the main course that is the Alps and the Pyrenees. But the start of the 2019 Tour has been a little different.

Sure, we’ve had long stretches in the middle of stages where not much has happened, but we’ve also had some intriguing racing on some great courses. Stage 1 around Brussels went up one of the sport’s most iconic climbs — the Muur van Geraardsbergen — and ended in an uphill sprint and delivered an unlikely winner. Stage 2 was a fiercely contested team time trial with astounding average speeds. Stage 3 was something of a mini-Amstel Gold Race through the vineyards of Reims, and stage 4 delivered a chaotic and unpredictable bunch kick.

Those opening four days also delivered the first French leader of the Tour since 2014, a handful of crashes, and some early movement in the GC battle. In short, it’s been an engaging start to the 2019 Tour and there’s plenty more action to come.


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