Crashes mar first stage of Tour de France

A crash-strewn final three kilometres of the first road stage of the Tour de France was won by Alessandro Petacchi in Brussels today.

Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) and Oscar Freire (Rabobank) went wide on a right-hand bend with 3,000m to go of the 223.5-kilometres first stage from Rotterdam to the Belgian capital, before a second – and this time more major - crash one kilometre later wiped out Tyler Farrar’s hopes of an American success on Independence Day.

Petacchi was the major benefactor, winning the sprint for the line with the 20 or so riders to emerge unscathed from the second collision.

Cavendish’s HTC-Columbia lead-out man Mark Renshaw was second and third went to Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team), the winner of the points classification in 2009.

Petacchi takes the green jersey from Scot David Millar (Team Garmin-Transitions), whose progress earlier in the day was temporarily halted by a collision with a dog.

As the major incidents happened in the final stages, all riders were awarded the same time, so there was no effect on the general classification standings.

Fabian Cancellara (Team Saxo Bank) retained the race leader’s yellow jersey, with Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) second, Millar third, Lance Armstrong (Team RadioShack) fourth, Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) fifth and race favourite Alberto Contador (Astana) sixth.

Team Sky leader Bradley Wiggins and Andy and Frank Schleck (both Team Saxo Bank) remained around one minute off the pace.

More on this topic

Tour de France ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for Froome following crashTour de France ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for Froome following crash

Chris Froome hoping to be in contention to win ‘brutal’ 2020 Tour de FranceChris Froome hoping to be in contention to win ‘brutal’ 2020 Tour de France

Climb-heavy 2020 Tour de France to be decided by penultimate-stage time trialClimb-heavy 2020 Tour de France to be decided by penultimate-stage time trial

5 things we learned as Egan Bernal wins Tour de France5 things we learned as Egan Bernal wins Tour de France

More in this Section

5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Juve extend advantage after Inter Milan are held at LecceJuve extend advantage after Inter Milan are held at Lecce

Messi strikes to give Setien victory in first match as Barcelona bossMessi strikes to give Setien victory in first match as Barcelona boss

Basketball wrap: Eanna brought back to earth with a bumpBasketball wrap: Eanna brought back to earth with a bump


Lifestyle

Flexibility naturally declines with age but there’s a lot you can to stay supple through the decades, says Peta Bee.At full stretch: How to stay flexible through the years

Simon Prim is owner of Simon Prim Book Shop, Main Street, Kinsale, Co Cork, which sells second-hand books.‘Kinsale is a welcoming town, and everyone is encouraging’

The Everyman hosts Ronan FitzGibbon’s play about singsongs along the Blackwater, writes Marjorie BrennanA river runs through it: Everyman to play to host to Blackwater Babble

WHEN I think about the kind of child I was, I would say that I was the exact same kind of person that I am as an adult. I have always been fascinated by things that I don’t quite yet understand. I recognise that I hardly understand anything and that most of the world is and always has been so beautifully complex to me.School Daze: Chris Hadfield - I realised at a young age that teachers were fallible

More From The Irish Examiner