Tour de France – Stage 1 – Sagan like a cat

Peter Sagan has done what was expected of him as he picked his way through climbers and found himself on the wheel of the yellow jersey Fabian Cancellara only to ride off it to the win. In his debut Tour de France he’s won on the second stage with seemingly little difficulty. The extremely steep, but short Col de Seraing made for some selective racing, but it was the final 10km which broke the hopes of many with two crashes within about 500m of one another.

The day was a rather routine affair for the first 90% as a 6 man breakaway was up the road lead by Dane Michael Morkov (Saxo-Tinkoff) who was gobbling up KOM points over the four cat 4 climbs. Then as the riders closed on the finish and the break, the speed ramped up and the peloton became very nervous and the first group hit the ground with Luis Leon Sanchez falling very hard and hurting his wrist (He later finished +4’02”). Also caught in the crash were Rojas and Karpets from Movistar and Maxime Monfort (RNT). Just a few minutes later another larger crash was caused by a man standing inside the barriers on the side of the route taking photos. Seriously? Idiot! He caught his arm on one of the riders and 15 guys went down.

As the various groups tried to regain the peloton, the pace was hard and fast as Lotto-Belisol hammered on the front for Vanendert and Van den Broeck, but it was Sylvain Chavanel launching a big attack only to be answered by Cancellara who powered to the front. Peter Sagan grabbed his wheel and he was towed to the line with Edvald Boasson Hagen closing. Too little too late as Sagan sprtined around Cance and took the win.

Tomorrow, we’ve got another stage in Belgium covering 207km and ending flat as a pancake in Tournai. A stage for the sprinters straight up. It’s early in the Tour so expect crashes as all the teams fight for their share of road space. We’re going to see Kittel, Cavendish and Sagan finally together to settle who truly is the fastest. My pick? Greipel 😉

Stage 1 Top Ten
1. Peter Sagan (LIQ)_____4h58’19”
2. Fabian Cancellara (RNT)
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (SKY)
4. Philippe Gilbert (BMC)
5. Bauke Mollema (RAB)
6. Alejandro Valverde (MOV)
7. Robert Gesink (RAB)
8. Dan Martin (GRS)
9. Ryder Hesjedal (GRS)
10 Dries Devenyns (OPQ)

Full Stage 1 Results: LeTour.fr

Overall Classification after Stage 1
1. Fabian Cancellara (RNT)_____5h05’32”
2. Bradley Wiggins (SKY)_______+7″
3. Sylvain Chavanel (OPQ)______+7″
4. Tejay VanGarderen (BMC)_____+10″
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (SKY)__+11″
6. Denis Menchov (KAT)_________+13″
7. Philippe Gilbert (BMC)______+13″
8. Cadel Evans (BMC)___________+17″
9. Vincenzo Nibali (LIQ)_______+18″
10. Ryder Hesjedal (GRS)_______+18″

25. Nicolas Roche (ALM)________+25″

29. Robert Gesink (RAB)________+26″

31. Jurgen Van DenBroeck (LTB)_+28″

34. Ivan Basso (LIQ)___________+29″

39. Alejandro Valverde (MOV)___+35″

43. Michele Scarponi (LAM)_____+37″

45. Frank Schleck (RNT)_______+38″

48. Sammy Sanchez (EUS)_____+40″

58. Levi Leipheimer (OPQ)_____+45″

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