Norway's Alexander Kristoff won Saturday's opening stage of the 107th Tour de France, beating Mads Pedersen in a sprint finish at the end of a rainy, crash-strewn day for his fourth career stage win in the race. Michael Schar, Cyril Gautier and Fabien Grellier formed an immediate breakaway group as the field set off on the 156-kilometre course, which looped around Nice three times. Schar, the last remnant of the breakaway, was swallowed up by the peloton inside the last 58 kilometres. The main group were together at the front of the race when the last of numerous crashes - involving three-time Tour de France stage winner Thibaut Pinot and many others - occurred just after the three-kilometre to go banner. The chaos finally came to an end moments later when Kristoff catapulted past Cees Bol in the final metres to claim the maillot jaune (yellow jersey).