Tense sprint opens Tour action
05 July 2014

Tour de France (st. 1)

Crash shakes calmness on stage one's finale in Yorkshire; Valverde gets through with no troubles after Movistar teamwork. Rojas 9th at bunch kick

PICTURES | 2014 Tour de France gallery

The 101st Tour de France started on Saturday through a sea of crowds that covered almost the entire 190km between Leeds and Harrogate, with three categorized climbs that offered room for the only battle -a three-man escape with Jarrier (BSE), Edet (COF) and Voigt (TFR), the latter one reeled in with 60k remaining- before the first contest amongst the top sprinters. With the storyboard clear for all GC contenders, the Movistar Team focused its whole block on getting Alejandro Valverde as much protected as possible before a mini-classic -nine categorized climbs, featuring the Jenkin Road (slopes up to 33%) with just 5k to go- in the road from York to Sheffield (201km.)

The only fright for the telephone squad arrived into the finishing straight, with a crash involving Gerrans (OGE) and Cavendish (OPQ) while sprinting to the line. The incident briefly caught José Joaquín Rojas -the Spaniard was implied on team duties alongside Erviti, Izagirre or Visconti, to later take 9th-, while a skilled Valverde rode past to cross the line in 24th. With no time gaps being taken into account after the crash, all nine Movistar Team riders stay into the same time of Marcel Kittel (GIA), in yellow after winning the stage.