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Tour de France Stage 1 winner is German Marcel Kittel

By DANIELLE HAYNES, UPI.com   |   June 29, 2013 at 2:36 PM  |  Updated June 30, 2013 at 3:42 PM   |   Comments

June 29 (UPI) -- The Tour de France's first stage Saturday had a chaotic finish as a crash took out several contenders and left German Marcel Kittel the winner.

The 132-mile Stage 1 run in the island of Corsica, France, took five hours to complete the run from Porto Vecchio to Bastia with a bit of an unexpected finish.

Two and a half miles from the finish line, a massive crash spoiled a potential top finish for Alberto Contador, Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan and Andre Greipel, the expected top contenders in this year's race.

“It’s unbelievable,” Kittel said of his Stage 1 victory. “I feel like I have gold on my shoulders.”


Contador may have broken his collarbone in the crash and his teammate, Tony Martin, may have broken his shoulder.

“I feel OK, but we’ll see,” Contador said. “The Tour is the Tour. You never know what’s going to happen.”

Saturday's finish line was almost in jeopardy as a team bus stalled at the line, threatening the stage's finish.

The race continues Sunday with a 96.9-mile ride from Bastia to Ajaccio.

Follow @DanielleHaynes1 and @UPI on Twitter.
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