Thomas De Gendt

Greg Van Avermaet takes first mountain stage and yellow jersey at Tour de France

Greg Van Avermaet takes first mountain stage and yellow jersey at Tour de France

Belgian rider Greg Van Avermaet won the first mountain stage of the Tour de France with an audacious solo attack in the Massif Central on Wednesday and also claimed the overall leader's yellow jersey.

The BMC rider was part of an early nine-man breakaway, and he methodically whittled down the group before accelerating past fellow Belgian Thomas De Gendt with 10 miles to go on the penultimate climb of the day.

Defending champion Chris Froome and two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana finished in the main pack, while two-time winner Alberto Contador and 2014 champion Vincenzo Nibali fell out of contention.

The 31-year-old Van Avermaet also won a stage in last year's Tour...

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