Bad luck for Contador
But the big story was behind. Contador lost nearly a minute and a half on the opening day of the 2011 Tour, as Gilbert grabbed the yellow, green and polka-dot jerseys.
Saxo Bank’s Bjarne Riis was disappointed yet realistic about the unfortunate start for his team captain.
“It’s one of these unfortunate accidents that often occur in the beginning of the Tour de France,” he said. “Alberto is simply unlucky now to be behind some of his opponents to the overall victory.
“But the Tour has just begun, and luckily there’s a long way to Paris from here.”
BMC’s Jim Ochowicz, meanwhile, was pleased with the way his team leader Evans rode.
“He was always attentive, and always near the front,” he said. “On the last day in Paris we may be saying the race was won or lost on stage 1.”
The results from stage 1 took a bit of figuring out, for riders, officials and the press alike. Originally it appeared that a large number of heavy hitters had joined Contador in the 80-seconds-behind club, as riders who either crashed or were delayed at 8km rode in with others delayed or downed in the crash at 2km. Once officials determined who was entitled to benefit from the 3km rule — which gives riders who crash inside that distance from the finish the same time as the front group — they generated a fresh list of results that, frankly, look pretty odd. For example, Rigoberto Uran finished 49th at 1:20, and Vladimir Karpets finished 50th at 0:06. This is because Uran was in the 7km crash, and Karpets in the 2km crash. For simplicity’s sake, we suggest you just look at the GC results for the big picture.
Nick Legan, Ben Delaney, Patrick O’Grady and Agence France Presse contributed to this report. Stay tuned for more coverage of stage 1 of the 2011 Tour de France.
- 1. Philippe Gilbert, Omega Pharma-Lotto, 4:41:31
- 2. Cadel Evans, BMC Racing Team, at 0:03
- 3. Thor Hushovd, Team Garmin-Cervélo, at 0:06
- 4. Rojas Jose Joaquin, Team Movistar, at 0:06
- 5. Jurgen Van Den Brocke, Omega Pharma-Lotto, at 0:06