Latest updates as race starts in Bilbao

Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark and Team Jumbo-Visma competes during the stage one of the 110th Tour de France 2023 a 182km stage from Bilbao to Bilbao

Last year’s winner Jonas Vingegaard (yellow helmet) sits within the peloton during stage one of the Tour de France – Getty Images/Tim de Waele

02:31 PM BST

76km to go

After a crash a few kilometres back, Torstein Traeen, who came 8th at the Critérium du Dauphiné, has got back into the peloton.

02:25 PM BST

80km to go

As the pace in the breakaway has slowed down, so to has the pace in the peloton. They have control of the situation and do not need to close the gap just yet to the breakaway.

02:23 PM BST

82km to go

There is a crash in the peloton. One of the Uno-X riders, Torstein Traeen, has gone down and he looks in a little bit of discomfort. He needs a bike change but he does not need the medical car so he looks fine to continue. He has a team-mate with him to get him back into the peloton.

02:17 PM BST

86km to go

The gap is coming down back to the peloton and is only just over a minute. The breakaway seems to be slowing down and it feels like the peloton are just controlling the riders out in front like they have them on a piece of string.

02:15 PM BST

88km to go

Result of the intermediate sprint at Gernika-Lumo:

1. Pascal Eenkhoorn, 20 pts

2. Simon Guglielmi, 17 pts

3. Valentin Ferron, 15 pts

4. Lilian Calmejane, 13 pts

5. Jonas Gregaard, 11 pts

At 1’10’’:

6. Mads Pedersen, 10 pts

7. Peter Sagan, 9 pts

8. Jasper Philipsen, 8 pts

9. Mark Cavendish, 7 pts

10. Bryan Coquard, 6 pts

02:10 PM BST

92km to go

The weather seems to be taking a little turn for the worse. It has got a lot darker and there are a few spots of rain. The breakaway has reached the intermediate sprint at Gernika-Lumo. With that money that I mentioned earlier on offer most of the breakaway goes for the sprint and it is Pascal Eenkhoorn (Lotto-Dstny) who wins that sprint and takes the money and 20 points. He is in good form today as he is the virtual leader of the king of the mountains as well as winning that sprint.

Lotto-Dstny's Pascal Eenkhoorn in action with riders during stage one

Lotto-Dstny’s Pascal Eenkhoorn is in good form on the opening stage – Reuters/Benoit Tessier

Behind the breakaway there is a sprint at the front of the peloton as there are still points on offer. Mads Pederson (Lidl-Trek) leads Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies), Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) across the line.

02:04 PM BST

95km to go

It is just the second time that the Tour has begun in the Basque region and the Basque people have come out in force today to support the riders. We have one more stage in the Basque country before moving to France.

02:00 PM BST

97km to go

For all of you Game of Thrones fans out there, you might recognise this!

01:58 PM BST

99km to go

We have just dipped under 100km to go to the finish today. The gap between the breakaway and the peloton currently stands at just under one minute 30 seconds.

01:56 PM BST

101km to go

We are around 10km away from the intermediate sprint at Gernika-Lumo. No bonus seconds on offer but 20 points. For the winner at the intermediate sprint there is 1500 euros on offer. Certainly a tempting reward!

01:51 PM BST

105km to go

There are just over 100km to go on stage one. The breakaway are still out in front and the gap back to the peloton is around one and a half minutes. The breakaway is still made up of the original fives riders who got away from the start: Pascal Eenkhoorn (Lotto-Dstny), Lilian Calméjane (Intermarché), Simon Guglielmi (Arkea), Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X) and Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies).

01:41 PM BST

114km to go

The next king of the mountains points are up for grabs at the top of the Côte de San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Uno-X’s Jonas Gregaard, who took maximum points on the first climb, attacks with 500m to go but the rest of the breakaway react quickly. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Lotto Dstny) then attacks from the front and gets the two points at the top. Simon Guglielmi of Arkea gets the other point. Gregaard gets nothing so Eenkhoorn so he leads the KOM classification on three points.

01:38 PM BST

115km to go

The breakaway is 1km from the summit and this is a hard climb. There are still a number of climbs to come, including a category two climb.

01:33 PM BST

116km to go

The breakaway has hit the second categorised climb of the day up the Côte de San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. The gap to the peloton has come down a further ten seconds in the last few kilometres to around one minute 20 seconds.

01:31 PM BST

117km to go

Speaking ahead of stage one of the Tour de France today, two-time winner Alberto Contador had his say on Eurosport GCN on the two big favourites this year:

“If we talk about favourites, we are talking about Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar. I think they have earned their own merits as number one favourites and, barring an accident or a mechanical problem, it’s unlikely that the Tour will go to any rider other than one of these two. I think Vingegaard is very strong and in impressive form. We have seen him in the recent Critérium du Dauphiné but we are talking about the fact that in front of him he also has a Tadej Pogacar.

“It’s true that Pogacar arrives with a little bit of uncertainty, especially on our part more than on his own. It’s true that he has dominated the National Championships in Slovenia, but that’s no way to analyse his real form. We don’t know what influence the fall he suffered in Liège could have had on his preparation, that’s what we have to see.  I don’t think Jonas Vingegaard is unbeatable for Tadej Pogacar either. Both can beat each other. Both Pogacar and Team UAE are important enough to have at least the same prominence as Vingegaard’s Jumbo Visma.”

01:28 PM BST

119km to go

We are approaching the second categorised climb of the day at the Côte de San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, which is a category three climb. The gap back to the peloton is just over one and a half minutes.

01:16 PM BST

127km to go

The breakaway currently has a lead of one minute 45 seconds over the peloton but the peloton has things under control. Everything is quite steady at the moment. The average speed is a tick over 40km/h.

01:10 PM BST

129km to go

As mentioned earlier, Mathieu van der Poel of Alpecin-Deceuninck is seen as one of the favourites for this tough opening stage. Here he is giving his thoughts ahead of the stage today:

01:04 PM BST

133km to go

One new feature for this year’s Tour is the introduction of the team radios being broadcast for 17 of the 22 teams which will be a great initiative. It will add some extra drama to the action for sure. Anything that brings the audience closer to the riders and the teams can only be a good thing.

01:01 PM BST

135km to go

We have been going around an hour and the riders in the breakaway have covered 42.2km. The breakaway is still formed of the original five: Pascal Eenkhoorn (Lotto-Dstny), Lilian Calméjane (Intermarché), Simon Guglielmi (Arkea), Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X) and Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies). The advantage is still hovering around one and a half minutes.

12:57 PM BST

Tough few weeks for cycling

The world of cycling has been rocked in the last few weeks after the death of Gino Mader at the Tour de Suisse. Mader died on a descent and one of the best descenders in the world is Britain and Ineos Grenadiers’ Tom Pidcock. He has admitted ahead of the Tour that Mader’s death has hit him hard. To read more, click here.

Cyclists of Bahrain Victorious team observe a minute of silence for their late teammate, Swiss rider Gino Mader

Tributes have been flooding in for Gino Mader, who died at the Tour de Suisse a few weeks ago – Shutterstock/Martin Divisek

12:51 PM BST

141km to go

Currently the gap between the breakaway, which is still five-strong, and the peloton is still around one and a half minutes. It feels like the peloton have this completely under control and the breakaway have no chance of staying away all the way until the finish.

12:46 PM BST

146km to go

Another man who has quickly been off the back of the peloton is AG2R Citroën’s Australian rider Ben O’Connor, who should be in contention for a top 10 finish in the general classification. The question will probably be how high can he get in the top 10.

Australian rider Ben O'Connor of Team AG2R Citroen attends the team presentation

Australian Ben O’Connor is a top 10 general classification contender – Sutterstock/Martin Divisek

12:41 PM BST

150km to go

The new British road champion Fred Wright has had to change his bike but there is no issue for him to get back on the peloton with the pace fairly steady at the moment. Winning the British National Championships last weekend marked the first win of his professional career.

Bahrain Victorious' Fred Wright (centre) on the podium after winning the men's road race during the 2023 British National Road Championships

Fred Wright (centre) took his first professional win last weekend at the British National Road Championships – PA/Will Matthews

12:30 PM BST

156km to go

The huge imposing figure of Soudal-Quick Step’s Tim Declerq is at the front of the peloton. The Belgian does a huge amount of work on the front throughout the day at the Tour and he is doing so again. The gap is one and a half minutes back from the breakaway.

Huge amounts of support in the Basque region as the crowds are lining the streets to witness the first stage on this year’s Tour.

12:26 PM BST

160km to go

This year’s Tour will be the last for Mark Cavendish, one of the greatest riders of all time. He is level with Eddy Merckx on 34 Tour de France stage wins and will hope to get one more to move ahead outright. It is sure to be an emotional few weeks for Cavendish, so let’s hear from him ahead of the start.

12:17 PM BST

168km to go

It seems this breakaway is solely for the king of the mountains points. Lilian Calmejane did attack which was unsuccessful but it is Jonas Gregaard of Uno-X who attacks the climb from a long way out to get those KOM points. He manages to take the maximum two points at the top of the climb. Pascal Eenkhoorn got the other available point.

Jonas Gregaard going up the first climb of the day

Jonas Gregaard takes maximum KOM points at the top of the first climb – Velo/Dario Belingheri

12:13 PM BST

169km to go

One of the favourites for today’s stage is Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Mathieu van der Poel and he is at the front of the peloton leading the charge. He looks like he is up for today’s stage. The breakaway has just reached the first of a number of climbs today up the Côte de Laukiz, which is just over 2km long.

Alpecin-Deceuninck's Mathieu van der Poel ahead of stage 1

Mathieu van der Poel is one of the favourites for today’s stage – Reuters/Benoit Tessier

12:10 PM BST

171km to go

There are plenty of big names here, but plenty who are not. The likes of Primoz Roglic, Geraint Thomas, Remco Evenepoel and Joao Almeida are all not here having competed at the Giro d’Italia.

One man who also is not here is four-time winner Chris Froome, who has been left out by his team Israel-Premier Tech. Froome was left disappointed at his non-selection.

Chris Froome looks on after he was not selected for the Tour

Four-time winner Chris Froome has not been selected for this year’s Tour – PA/Martin Rickett

12:03 PM BST

176 km to go

The pace is fairly steady in the peloton at the moment as they seem content at the moment to let this breakaway go away for the time being. The gap back to the peloton from the breakaway is just over a minute.

11:59 AM BST

178km to go

A group of five riders have broken away at the front as we approach the first categorised climb of the day. The five riders in the breakaway currently are Pascal Eenkhoorn (Lotto-Dstny), Lilian Calméjane (Intermarché), Simon Guglielmi (Arkea), Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X) and Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies).

11:55 AM BST

Racing underway

The flag drops at kilometre zero and the proper racing gets underway.

11:38 AM BST

Who will win stage one?

Today’s opening stage will be an exciting one and who knows who will win it! Who does Eurosport’s Adam Blythe think will take yellow after today’s opening stage?

11:36 AM BST

How many stages can van Aert win this year?

One man who is always at the centre of the action is Jonas Vingegaard’s team-mate Wout van Aert. A man who can seemingly do everything, he will be targeting stage victories as well as helping Vingegaard win the Tour. Let’s hear from the Belgian rider:

11:32 AM BST

Roll-out begins

The 2023 Tour de France is officially underway with the neutralised roll-out from the centre of Bilbao, in the shadow of Athletic Bilbao’s stadium San Mamés. Kilometre zero comes up in around 25 minutes when the racing gets underway.

11:30 AM BST

Stage one profile

Here is a closer look at what this first stage looks like. A tough opening stage that we do not normally see which should produce an exciting first day at the 2023 Tour.

11:24 AM BST

Pogacar wants his crown back

After winning the Tour back-to-back in 2020 and 2021, Team UAE Emirates’ Tadej Pogacar is seeking revenge on Vingegaard. Here are the thoughts of the Slovenian ahead of the start:

11:22 AM BST

Head-to-head for the maillot jaune

It looks set to be another head-to-head battle like last year for the top spot on the podium between Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar. Vingegaard beat Pogacar to the maillot jaune last year and will be hoping to defend the jersey this year. First, let’s hear from Jumbo-Visma’s Vingegaard:

11:13 AM BST

The 2023 Tour de France is here!

The 110th Tour de France gets underway today with a 182km hilly stage starting and finishing in Bilbao. It is the second time The Grand Départ has taken place in the Basque Country after previously starting in the autonomous region in 1992.

The 2023 Tour looks set to be a straight fight between Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) and Denamark’s defending champion Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma). You would imagine that Pogacar will be motivated by being beaten by Vingegaard a year ago. However the Dane comes into the Tour in good form after comfortably winning the Critérium du Dauphiné, which is seen as a warm-up for the Tour.

It has not been plain sailing for the 2020 and 2021 winner Pogacar; he injured his wrist during Liège–Bastogne–Liège which meant he was off the road for five weeks. This has led to UAE Team Emirates naming co-leaders as Britain’s Adam Yates will hold that status alongside Pogacar. The question is this; will Pogacar be fresh or is the injury going to hold him back as we progress through the three weeks? Vingegaard goes in as the slight favourite, but count Pogacar out at your peril.

British rider Mark Cavendish of Astana Qazaqstan Team gestures before the start of the first stage of the Tour de France 2023

Astana Qazaqstan’s Mark Cavendish is looking to win his 35th stage at the Tour, to take him ahead of Eddy Merckx who he is currently level with on 34 – Shutterstock/Christophe Petit Tesson

One of the biggest storylines going into the Tour is Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan), who is currently level with Eddy Merckx on 34 stage wins at the Tour. This is Cavendish’s 14th and last Tour after he announced at the Giro d’Italia that he will retire at the end of this season. He will have to wait a few days though until he gets his first opporunity at a sprint finish. The likes of Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal Quick-Step), Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) will be hoping to beat Cavendish.

This opening stage looks set to be a very intriguing one. There are 3,300 metres of vertical gain, including a spiky climb 10km from the finish with an average gradient of 10% over 2km. We are set for a fascinating stage to get us underway as we never usually see an opening stage like this one. Get ready for a bang on stage one!

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