Flying boats? A bus stuck at the finish? Chariot racing? Stage one had it all…and vaches!
The unconventional where-is-the-finish finish threw all plans that weren’t already in disarray into chaos. Some of the expected contenders, including pre-stage favourite Cav, were caught behind a crash. In the end, Kittel won the day, and will start stage 2 in yellow. He also leads the points and young rider classifications. Euskaltel’s Lobato del Valle leads the King of the Mountains competition.
In injury news, Tony Martin’s run of horrible luck continues, although if he’s really broken a collarbone, as is being rumoured, he would surely be unlikely to soldier on as he did with his scaphoid last year. Contador went down, but – like the black knight – is claiming that it’s just a flesh wound. Hoogerland met with an advertising banner which was fortunately barbed-wire free. Geraint Thomas was taken to hospital after his crash, which continues his season of poor fortune.
M Vache and I are hoping to get near a television once we reach Carcasonne – I’d better find out what “suitcase of courage” is in French if I’m to join in the drinking games. A fine return to competition for the Twitter peloton with added exceptional vache-spotting. Chapeau!