السبت , مايو 22 2021

Cavendish falls as Kittel wins opener

Germany’s Marcel Kittel won the first stage of the Tour de France from Leeds to Harrogate as Mark Cavendish crashed during the sprint finish.

The Briton collided with Australia’s Simon Gerrans around 200m from the finish, injuring his right shoulder.

Cavendish was among the favourites to win in his mother’s home town which would have seen him wear the leader’s yellow jersey for the first time.

But he could now be out of the remainder of the three-week race.

Defending champion, Team Sky’s Chris Froome, finished safely in sixth place, four seconds behind Giant-Shimano’s Kittel – who recorded his fifth Tour stage win. Peter Sagan was second, with Ramunas Navardauskas third.

The crash involving Mark Cavendish (left) and Simon Gerrans (centre)

The Grand Depart was held in Yorkshire for the first time with more than one million fans estimated to have attended stage one. Police say 230,000 people were in Leeds and 10,000 on one of the climbs at Buttertubs.

After a ceremonial start at Harewood House, which saw the Duchess of Cambridge cut the ribbon, the race headed out into the Yorkshire Dales.

Veteran Jens Voigt, racing in his 17th and final Tour at the age of 42, led a breakaway from the start.

Initially it was a three-man attack with French duo Benoit Jarrier and Nicolas Edet, but German Voigt went it alone after an intermediate sprint in Newbiggin and at one stage held a five-minute advantage over the 195 other riders in the race.

Geraint Thomas’s guide to stage two

“There will be a tense big race into the bottom of Holme Moss, which is a well-known climb from the Tour of Britain, to make sure you’re in a decent position – we will want to be near the front with Chris Froome.

“It comes just 60km from the finish and it will be full gas from there on in.”

He was eventually reeled in by the peloton with 60km (37 miles) to go in the 190.5km opener.

The race geared up for a hotly contested sprint in front of hundreds of thousands of fans but Swiss Fabian Cancellara caused confusion when he launched a solo bid with 1km to go.

The sprinters reacted and heading into the final straight, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Cavendish collided with Orica GreenEdge’s Gerrans and both of them crashed to the ground.

Cavendish managed to get up and he was helped back on to his bike before riding gingerly across the line, holding his right arm, and was then taken to hospital.

But the chances of him adding to his 25 Tour wins this year, rest on the extent of his injury.

Sunday’s second stage

takes the riders 201km from York to Sheffield and features around 3,000m of climbing, spread across nine categorised ascents.

Stage one result:

1. Marcel Kittel (Ger/Giant-Shimano) 4hrs 44mins 07secs

2. Peter Sagan (Svk/Cannondale) Same time

3. Ramunas Navardauskas (Lit/Garmin-Sharp)

4. Bryan Coquard (Fra/Europcar)

5. Michael Rogers (Aus/Tinkoff-Saxo)

6. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky)

7. Alexander Kristoff (Nor/Katusha)

8. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel/Belkin)

9. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa/Movistar)

10. Michael Albasini (Swi/Orica GreenEdge)

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