Tour de France 2018: Denmark's Magnus Cort Nielsen powers to first stage victory as Geraint Thomas maintains lead
The talented Dane Magnus Cort Nielsen won a sprint on the streets of Carcassonne in convincing style to claim the first Tour de France stage of his career, on a calm and controlled day for Geraint Thomas who maintained his hold on the yellow jersey and his 1 min 39 sec advantage over Team Sky team-mate Chris Froome.
The final 10km descended into a tactical tease between eight riders of which three teams had a pair of contestants â" Bahrain-Merida, Trek-Segafredo and Astana. They came together to shut down the hangers on and sent one each up the road chasing victory, where Astanaâs Nielsen led Jon Izagirre and Bauka Mollema into the finish, slowing the pace h eading into the final 400m before showing his sprinting prowess to win by several lengths.
It was the second successive stage win for the Kazakh team and signalled what might be to come for the impressive Nielsen. âItâs amazing, itâs what Iâve been dreaming off since before I could ride a bike,â said the 25-year-old. âItâs my first year here at the Tour. I have to thank my team a lot for believing in me and Michael [Valgren] for helping in the finish. Many days ago the team said this was the stage for me and everything worked out perfectly.â