97th Tour de France - Stage 1 Just In
Into the wind of the North Sea - a nervy day in the sun,
crashes & carnage - Sprinters day in Brussels
Jersey Leaders Stage 1
Maillot Jaune: Fabian Cancellara Saxo
Maillot Vert: Fabian Cancellara Saxo Bank
Tony Martin HTC/Columbia
Sunday, 4 July
Stage 1: Rotterdam - Brussels, 223.5 km
Lampre's Alessandro Petacchi attacked at over 200 meters an impressive
victory in his return to the Tour de France. Alessandro rocketed past Mark
Renshaw (HTC/Columbia) and crossed the line with a bike
length to spare. Ale Jet was obviously pleased to win the first road stage of
the tour dedicating his victory to his family and commenting even if Cavendish
were there he would have beaten him... "was just going too fast" the blue &
fuscia rider said.
Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) finished third with Katusha's Robbie McEwen
and Francaise des Jeux's Matthieu Ladagnous filling out the top 5.
The finish was marred with two crashes in the final 5 km the first at 2 km on
the final turn,
eliminating Rabobank's Oscar Freire and HTC's Mark Cavendish when a rider went
wide (we thinks it was Cavendish) on the final turn into Brussels taking out seven riders.
Petacchi also caught up in the crash, remounted and rejoined the peloton in
the final kilometer and managed to avoid the massive crash at 400 meters from
the line took at least twenty riders down and blocking the road.
Without Cavendish HTC's Mark Renshaw started the sprint with Thor
Hushovd and Robbie McEwen all making the rush for the line - but it was Ale Jet
out of the saddle, attacking the sprint, blasting ahead of his rivals to the
finish where he finally sat up to raise his hands
in the celebratory salute of victory.
The day was animated by a break of three initiated by Rabobank's Lars Boom
immediately after the start was given after the neutral zone. Maarten Wynants
(Quick Step) and Euskaltel's Alan Lezaun Perez joined Boom in a day long
adventure that saw the trio take over 7 minutes out of the Saxo Bank led peloton
by the 50 km mark with 173 k kilometers to go.
Facing stiff winds along the coast and pressure by the peloton the gap fell
by half shortly after the feed zone. Behind crashes plagued the peloton with
David Millar, Ivan Basso and Nicolas Roche caught up in the mess; luckily the
riders were able to rejoin the group.
By the final sprint of the day with 53 km remaining the trio led with 1:35 as
Lampre came to the front to help Cancellara's team to close the gap. With 28 km
to go Wynants attacked the break as the gap fell to 50seconds.
Behind Katusha's Alexandr Pliuschin countered to join Wynants on the
front as the Boom and Perez were swept up by the chase led by
Garmin/Transition and Cervelo teams. The duo lingered off the front until 7 km
to go when the HTC/Columbia and Lampre led peloton cooled their jets and set
about controlling the front for their sprinters Cavendish and Petacchi.
Ale Jet also gains the prize he set his eyes on, the green jersey of points
leader opening a small gap on Thor Hushovd and Mark Cavendish who finished out
of the money today. Currently Mark Renshaw is the top HTC man in the green
competition second to Petacchi with 30 points.
Maarten Wynants for his efforts in the break won a well deserved most
aggressive rider award for his work off the front today with his nose in the
wind for over 200 kilometers.
No changes to the top of the top rankings today with Fabulous Fabian still in
the yellow jersey.
Stage 1 Results
Rotterdam - Brussels
223.5 km - 5:09:38 - 43.3km/h
1 Petacchi Alessandro Lampre - Farnese 5:09:38
2 Renshaw Mark Team Htc - Columbia - 0:00
3 Hushovd Thor Cervelo Test Team - 0:00
4 Mc Ewen Robbie Katusha Team - 0:00
5 Ladagnous Matthieu Fdj - 0:00
6 Oss Daniel Liquigas-Doimo - 0:00
7 Rojas Jose Joaquin Caisse D’epargne - 0:00
8 Knees Christian Team Milram - 0:00
9 Perez Moreno Ruben Euskaltel - Euskadi - 0:00
10 Roelandts Jürgen Omega Pharma - Lotto - 0:00
11 Turgot Sébastien Bbox Bouygues Telecom - 0:00
12 Gerdemann Linus Team Milram - 0:00
13 El Fares Julien Cofidis Le Credit En Ligne - 0:00
14 Roberts Luke Team Milram - 0:00
15 Thomas Geraint Sky Pro Cycling - 0:00
More to come...
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