By Thomas Dodd

  • Britain’s Mark Cavendish wins opening stage to take leader’s yellow jersey
  • Win is Manxman’s 27th in Tour de France
  • All other pre-race favourites finish in peloton.

BRITTANY, FRANCE – Britain’s Mark Cavendish leads the Tour de France after winning the first stage and will wear the yellow jersey for the first time in his career tomorrow.

After being released by his team with around 300m to go,  the Dimension Data sprinter outgunned rivals Marcel Kittel, Andre Greipel and Peter Sagan to claim his 27th stage victory in the world’s most famous bike race.

Setting out from the idyllic Mont Saint Michel in Brittany the Peloton rolled its way along the Normandy coast before finishing on Utah Beach 188km later, and a sprint finish was always on the cards given the very flat nature of the day’s course.

The stage’s breakaway, which had been comprised of five riders, was swept with ease as the sprinters’ teams came together in the final kilometres to try and set their men up for glory.

A crash in the final straight further back claimed none of the race favourites but strong winds and tricky conditions lead to some minor incidents on the run in to the finish.

Spain’s Alberto Contador was involved in a collision with a central reservation, but despite suffering deep cuts to his skin and tears in his jersey, he too recovered to come in with the main pack and not lose any time.

All nine British riders in the race finished in the main field, losing ten seconds to Cavendish owing to time bonuses awarded to the top three riders on each stage, including Daniel McLay – who is competing in his first Tour.

Stage Result: Mont Saint-Michel to Utah Beach (188km)

  1. Mark Cavendish (GBR) Dimension Data 4h13m55s
  2. Marcel Kittel (GER) Etixx QuickStep + 04 seconds
  3. Peter Sagan (SVK) Tinkoff +06
  4. Andre Greipel (GER) Lotto Soudal +10
  5. Edward Theuns (BEL) Trek-Segafredo +10
  6. Christophe Laporte (FRA) Cofidis +10
  7. Bryan Coquard (FRA) Direct Energie +10
  8. Alexander Kristoff (DEN) Kathusha +10
  9. Daniel McLay (GBR) Fortuneo +10
  10. Gregory Henderson (AUS) Lotto +10

Brits

25. Chris Froome Sky +10 seconds
87. Adam Yates Orica +10
105. Ian Stannard Sky +10
147. Stephen Cummings Sky +10
167. Geraint Thomas Sky +10
169. Luke Rowe Sky +10

Overall Standings, after Stage 1

  1. Mark Cavendish (GBR) Dimension Data 4h13m55s
  2. Marcel Kittel (GER) Etixx QuickStep + 04 seconds
  3. Peter Sagan (SVK) Tinkoff +06
  4. Andre Greipel (GER) Lotto Soudal +10
  5. Edward Theuns (BEL) Trek-Segafredo +10
  6. Christophe Laporte (FRA) Cofidis +10
  7. Bryan Coquard (FRA) Direct Energie +10
  8. Alexander Kristoff (DEN) Kathusha +10
  9. Daniel McLay (GBR) Fortuneo +10
  10. Gregory Henderson (AUS) Lotto +10

Brits

25. Chris Froome Sky +10 seconds
87. Adam Yates Orica +10
105. Ian Stannard Sky +10
147. Stephen Cummings Sky +10
167. Geraint Thomas Sky +10
169. Luke Rowe Sky +10

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