Twin energy powered a memorable 1-2 finish on Saturday as the 110th Tour de France got underway in Bilbao, Spain.
Twin brothers, Adam and Simon Yates, finished the stage in first and second place respectively – the last brothers to do so were Andy and Frank Schleck in 2011.
The Yates brothers finished just 4 seconds apart in the 182km first stage but it was Adam, representing UAE Team Emirates, who took the victory away from Simon, racing for Jayco AlUla.
“My brother came across to me. I didn’t know if I should work with him. I asked [the team] and they said ‘go for it’,” Adam told reporters after securing the yellow jacket.
The pair were caught in a sprint finish as the race reached its conclusion with Simon saying that cramps got the better off him on their way to the line.
“I’m ecstatic for him, but I also wanted to win,” Simon told reporters, in typical sibling fashion. “I’ll try to get the better of him in the coming days.
“I have a fantastic relationship with my brother, so I’m really happy for him.
“We’re pretty close normally but I had some cramps in the final. It was a humid day so unfortunately, he got the better of me but I’m sure there are more chances coming.”
Since the 1950s, the Tour has often started in a different country as a way of allowing fans from other nations to experience the race.
In total, 176 riders will race in 21 different stages including eight flat stages, eight mountain stages, four hilly stages, one individual time trial, and two rest days. The race will finish in Paris on the Champs-Élysées on Sunday, July 23.
Previous champions, Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard and Slovenia’s Tadej Pogačar, were the pre-race favorites and the latter finished third after the first stage.
Despite finishing behind the Yates brothers, Pogačar, who is teammates with Adam, said he was happy with the results from Bilbao.
“When I crossed the line and I saw that Adam had won, I was maybe even more happy than if I’d won. It’s a double celebration,” he told reporters.
Pogačar would also have been delighted to have gained a precious lead over his main rival, Vingegaard, especially after coming off the back of an injury.
The Tour now heads from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Saint-Sébastien for the next stage of the famous cycling race.