Monday, July 5, 2010

Tour de France Stage 1 - Sprint Finish Caos


July 19th 2010: I originally published this article at Michael Holloway's BikingToronto Blog. I'm covering every stage race of the 2010 Tour de France there.

As I write this, the tour is up to stage 15. I've "Live Blogged" almost all of them - stages I haven't Live Blogged always get a race summery piece - plus I've written several interesting biographical sketches and some funny reviews of the race over all.

Have a look at Michael Holloway's BikingToronto Blog, "Tour de France" tagged articles.



Individual Standing after Stage 1 - by total time (

These are screen shots I took of the Sunday July 4, Stage 1 video - available at

The big story in Stage 1 was the number of crashes. There were five in Stage 1, a record for Le Tour.

This is crash one or two. I could only find footage of four of the five crashes in Stage 1.

The "Doggy" Crash

This guy likes to bite at the ankles of cyclists it looks like. 'O Goody', he's thinking, 'some bicycles!'

'Oh sh*t I wish I hadn't done this.'The dog amazingly, was not hit but in trying to avoid him several riders went down.

I guess lesson learned is remember to leash your dog when the peloton is coming through.

The medium to high winds that were expected all along Stage 1 never materialized. Instead the climbers (who are generally better in the wind) and the sprinters all stay together. At the end of the race the course is too narrow to accommodate all the riders who think they have a chance at the yellow jersey, and the extra points that go with it.

To reduce the number of crashes race officials introduced a new rule: three kilometres from the finish every one in a group gets the same time even if you crash out of your group.

Crash Three

This crash happens at about 2km from the finish, so the crashed riders get the same time as those who avoided the mayhem - as long as they can finish the stage.

Crash Four

This is the straight narrow run to the finish.

The forth crash of Stage 1 happens 300 metres from the finish, a hugh pile-up of the peloton which looks to include about 50 riders. Only 25 riders are in front of the crash and have a chance to get the yellow jersey. In the screen shot you can see the tip of the peloton pulling away from the crash.

Crash Five

As the leaders slice towards the left side of the course in the final sprint to the line - to safe guard one of their flanks - a rider is clipped, and down he goes...

The Finish

Fabian Cancellara wins the sprint, and the yellow jersey for a day. seems to be the over all producer of the English content that is drafting. All the content your seeing at OLN on cable television and online is content produced by Their website has more online options, and some content you can pay for - you lucky people. ;)

This article chronicles Le Tour, day two - Stage 1. (Saturday's prologue isn't labeled as a stage).


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