Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert overcame a late surge from Leopard Trek’s Fabian Cancellara to take victory in a crash-ridden opening stage of the Tour de France on Mont des Allouettes on Saturday.
Defending Champion Alberto Contador was held up in a huge crash eight kilometres from the finish line, and eventually completed the race 1:21 behind the leader.
With only one kilometre to go, Gilbert sped ahead from the pack before kissing his jersey as he crossed the finished line.
Now looking at the overall standings and after keeping himself in the first 20 riders for most of the day, Australia’s Cadel Evans eventually had to settle for second place after finishing three seconds behind Gilbert.
Norway’s Thor Hushovd was third at six seconds, leading home the chasing pack.