Today’s stage began with a very low key start to the day with Cousin, Lobato, Boom, Flecha and Lemoine off the front early the peloton was at ease to allow them to set the tone for the day. With 45km remaining in the stage, the five man break was all but done with only 90 seconds of a gap between the break and peloton. Within the next 5km the fate was sealed as Saxo-Tinkoff headed to the front and began to push the pace. Quickly to move their GC riders into safety BMC and team Sky moved to the front to take part in the pace setting. With just over 20km remaining the sprinters teams took over the helm and Omega Pharma, Orica-GreenEdge and Lotto Belisol went to work positioning their sprinters.
In the closing kilometers word came to the peloton that some moron stuck his giant Eurobus underneath the start finish line and that the finish would be shortened to the 3km mark. Within seconds the carnage began when a toouch of wheels ended up with Hesjedal meeting the pavement. He and another athlete gave chase as the Cannondale team kept the pace blistering for Sagan. To add more chaos to the mix, the bus was moved and the finish was relocated back to the original finish line. A bonehead move at best, that resulted in even more catastrophe and carnage. With so many on the pavement an unlikely win came from German sprinter, Marcel Kittel, who took his first Tour de France win ever and first leaders jersey.
Involved in the carnage include the likes of Alberto Contador, Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan. A rough start to 21 days of racing and we can hope for tomorrow to bring some sanity and peace to such a large race.