Anybody expecting a steady start to Paris-Nice, with a flat stage and the sun shining, would be badly mistaken.
The old adage of riders not winning a race on stage one, but potentially losing it, certainly rang true as several contenders found themselves more than a minute off the pace on a crash-filled opening day.
Indeed, even stage winner Nacer Bouhanni hit the deck before recovering to win the stage.
Photographer Gautier Demouveaux was on hand to capture the return of WorldTour racing in France. Check out his images in the gallery below, which we bring you with the kind permission of race organisers, the ASO.