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Arnaud Demare (FDJ) opened the sprint on the...

Gallery, Paris-Nice: Rain, crashes and cobbles on stage 1

The peloton faced rain, crashes, and cobbles on the opening stage of the 76th Paris-Nice, which was won by Arnaud Demare (FDJ).
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Start
Rain poured down at the start in Chatou to kickoff the 76th edition of the “Race to the Sun.” Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Chaves
Despite the poor weather, Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) still donned his normal wide smile at the start. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Start
Riders were bundled-up in Chatou for a cold and wet 135-kilometer ride to the finish in Meudon. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Greipel
It was the quite a difference in racing conditions for Andre Greipel, as the German last raced at the Abu Dhabi Tour. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Rolland
Pierre Rolland (EF Education First-Drapac) was relaxed at the start and didn’t seem to mind the weather. It may have been a possible sign of things to come. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Breakaway
Pierre Rolland would hop into the breakaway moments after having a laugh on stage at the start. Jurgen Roelandts (BMC Racing) and Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fortuneo) joined Rolland in the breakaway. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Peloton
Quick-Step Floors led the peloton early in the race. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Poels
Wout Poels is looking to continue Team Sky’s recent dominance at Paris-Nice. The British team has won six of the last seven editions of the race. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Peloton
A thick fog blanketed the peloton at times. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Zakarin
Ilnur Zakarin’s (Katusha-Alpecin) race did not go as planned on stage one. The Russian was invovled in a crash with under three kilometers to go and lost more than five minutes on the stage and any hopes of contending in the general classification. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Breakaway
It was a miserable day to be in the breakaway, which had a slim chance of surviving to the finish Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Peloton
Midway through the stage, the riders got a taste of what awaited them at the finish — cobblestones. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Breakaway
The breakaway was caught with about 20 kilometers remaining, setting up a fast run-in to the finish. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Finish
Arnaud Demare (FDJ) opened the sprint on the treacherous wet cobblestones. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Finish
Four riders — Christophe Laporte (Cofidis), Arnaud Demare, Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) — all lunged for the line side-by-side. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Demare and Izagirre
Demare nearly crashed after the lunge to the line due to the slick cobbles. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Demare
It was the first victory of the season for Demare on Sunday. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
Paris - Nice 2018, stage 1: Demare
Demare will wear the yellow jersey on Monday. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images