Belgian Wout van Aert claimed the first stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné where Irish pair Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche were nestled within the bunch for the uphill finish.

The most recognised Tour de France warm-up race began today in Clermont-Ferrand, a 218.5km route that finished at Saint-Christo-en-Jarez, with Van Aert's Jumbo Visma team in control from start to finish. 

The race has been shortened from eight to five days, but the opening stage compromised of seven categorised climbs, where pre-race favourites Primož Roglič and 2019 Tour de France champions Egan Bernal were the focus of most attention. 

Belgium's Wout van Aert (second from right) sprints to win on the finish line

Israel Start-up Nation’s Martin and Nairo Quintana were among those to attack late on where the final five kilometres was uphill save for one short descent. 

It was van Aert however who crossed the line first, with Daryl Impey and Bernal second and third respectively and picking up bonus seconds for the overall general classification. 

Dan Martin, far right, during today's stage

Martin and Team Sunweb’s Roche were among 52 ridders that are 10 seconds adrift overall before the riders move onto the second stage, a 135km route that concludes on the summit of the Col de Porte. 

Meanwhile, next month's Road World Championships in Aigle–Martigny in Switzerland has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, cycling's governing body UCI announced. 

The championships was scheduled to be held from 20 to 27 September and the UCI said it would not be possible to stage it during those dates because of the Swiss Federal Council's ordinance banning events uniting more than 1,000 people until 30 September.

The UCI said it would work to find an alternative venue for the 2020 edition, with the priority being in Europe and on the dates scheduled.

"The UCI will look for a host city that would be able to provide a route as challenging as that in Aigle-Martigny and which would therefore suit the same type of riders who had initially planned to participate in Switzerland," UCI said.