Marcel Kittel survived a wild Stage 1 at the 2013 Tour de France to take control of the yellow jersey. Alexander Kristoff finished second, and Danny van Poppel rounded out the top three.
The first of 21 stages was a 213 kilometer trek from Porto-Vecchio to Bastia. A mainly flat stage with only a few minor climbs, it featured an intermediate sprint and a finishing stretch that made for an exciting kickoff to the annual cycling showcase.
Let's take a glance at the top finishers and then recap Stage 1.
Stage 1 Final Leaderboard
|3||Danny van Poppel||Vacansoleil-DCM||+0.00|
|5||Matteo Trentin||Omega Pharma-Quick Step||+0.00|
|6||Samuel Dumoulin||AG2R La Mondiale||+0.00|
|9||Jose Joaquin Rojas||Movistar||+0.00|
For complete results from Stage 1, visit the race's official site.
Tour favorite Chris Froome suffered an issue that forced an unexpected early bike change. Although it happened during a neutralized portion of the stage, thus limiting the impact, the Team Sky star hopes it's not a sign of things to come over the next few weeks:
The other notable moment from the early going was when a group of five broke away from the pack. Lars Boom, Cyril Lemoine, Juan Antonio Flecha, Jerome Cousin and Juan Jose Lobato pulled away and built an early lead.
After an extended period of limited action with all the riders holding steady in their respective groups, the action started to pick up again once the roads began to narrow in the second half of the stage. It left very little margin for error.
The first of a series of crashes took out Dutch champion Johnny Hoogerland. He was riding close to the right side of the road when he went down:
Another crash followed shortly after at the back of the peloton. It took down several riders, with Ryder Hesjedal and Ian Stannard being two of the notables in the wreck:
Around the same time, it came to the attention of the teams that a bus was stuck under the finish line. It had gotten stuck on a low-hanging banner and got wedged underneath, leading to massive confusion, as there was a scramble to find an alternative finish line.
Luckily, the organizers were able to move the bus after quite some time deliberating the situation by backing it up. Still, the Tour decided the best option was to give every rider the same finishing time due to the confusion.
Then, another crash captured two stage contenders, Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish. Both would have been in prime position to challenge during the sprint to the finish, but the crash eliminated their Stage 1 yellow jersey hopes:
Without Sagan and Cavendish, the door opened for another rider to capture the stage. German Marcel Kittel took advantage with a tremendous sprint to the line, which was no longer occupied by a bus.