Published On: Tue, Jul 2nd, 2013

Tour de France begins with Marcel Kittel winning first stage

The 100th running of the Tour de France began on Saturday

The 100th running of the Tour de France began on Saturday

July 02, 2013 - The 100th running of the Tour de France began on Saturday. The first stage was won by Marcel Kittel of Germany, just after one of the team buses was dislodged from the finish line arch.

The first stage had a number of obstacles in Corsica, with two crashes that wiped out some sprinters. In one crash, 20 riders or more fell and among them was Alberto Contador the former two-time champion and Peter Sagan a sprinter. Both were able to continue with cuts and bruises.

Mark Cavendish, considered by many as the sports’ best sprinter, did not fall in the crash, but was left behind fallen riders and could not make a challenge to try to win his 24th career stage. He hoped to win the stage and put on the yellow jersey for just the first time in his career.

Kittel was not aware of the problems the bus caused and was lucky to not be caught up in the crash. He was able to out sprint his competitors to win the 132-mile flat trek that started in Porto Vecchio and ended in Bastia. His winning time was just under the 5-hour mark.

After putting on the prestigious yellow jersey, Kittel said he felt like he had gold on his shoulders.

One rider, Tony Martin, a teammate of Cavendish, had to be rushed to a local hospital after he lost consciousness in the crash.

Contador’s day was not good either. He is returning from a two-year doping ban after winning the 2010 Tour, which was later stripped, and grimaced as he crossed the finish line with his uniform torn and his shoulder bleeding.

The second stage on Sunday is much shorter but has four individual climbs in the 97-mile stage.

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