VILLARD-DE-LANS, France — German rider Lennard Kamna won the first Alpine stage of the Tour de France on Tuesday after pulling clear of a group of breakaway riders on his way to the ski resort of Villard-de-Lans.
The 24-year-old Kamna, who rides for the Bora-hansgrohe team, made his decisive move on the penultimate ascent to drop former race leader Julian Alaphilippe, Richard Carapaz and Sebastien Reichenbach, three rivals with a strong pedigree.
The favourites for the overall title, including yellow jersey Primoz Roglic, rode in the peloton some 15 minutes behind Kamna, who was not a threat in the general classification.
Kamna was part of a group of 15 riders who broke away from the peloton early in the 164-kilometre (102-mile) trek.
Among them, Frenchman Quentin Pacher also tried a solo escape but his effort was short lived as he was easily caught and then dropped by Alaphilippe, Carapaz, Reichenbach and Kamna. Carapaz, the Giro d’Italia champion, made Alaphilippe and Reichenbach crack with a couple of biting attacks but could not respond when Kamna countered before the summit.
The German was faster than his remaining rival on the flat sections as he sped toward Villard-de-Lans to post the biggest win of his career.
The remaining 156 Tour de France riders were authorized to start the stage after the UCI and race organizers announced that all 785 COVID-19 tests on Sunday and Monday of riders and staff members of the 22 teams returned negative,
No rider has tested positive since the race started on Aug. 29 in Nice. The latest screening around the race’s second rest day was the fourth since the beginning of the Tour, and the last one before the peloton reaches the Champs Elysees on Sunday.