Pedersen wins Dauphine sprint

<a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Mads Pedersen;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Mads Pedersen</a> (C) wins the opening stage of the Dauphine (Thomas SAMSON)
Mads Pedersen (C) wins the opening stage of the Dauphine (Thomas SAMSON)

Denmark's Mads Pedersen won the opening stage of the Tour de France warm up race the Criterium du Dauphine on a foggy 172km run on Sunday.

The 2019 world champion also takes the yellow jersey after his ninth win so far this season in a week he was named in Denmark's Olympic Games team.

The Lidl Trek rider edged Sam Bennett and Hugo Page in a mass sprint, one of two flat stages on the eight-day race seen as a fine tuning opportunity ahead of the Tour de France later this month.

"I love racing in France, it's all so well organised," said Pedersen.

"It'll be a challenge defending the yellow jersey," said the 28-year-old rider, looking ahead to the hilltop finish at Col de Loge on Monday.

Pedersen explained his main task was to protect team leader Tao Geoghegan Hart, a climb specialist and dark horse for a podium spot or at least some mountain stage wins at the Tour de France.

Primoz Roglic, Remco Evenepoel or Juan Ayuso are more likely to win this Criterium which ends with three blockbuster mountain stages in the Alps next weekend.