After chaos, German wins Tour’s first stage

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After chaos, German wins Tour’s first stage

BASTIA, Corsica - The first stage of the 100th Tour de France ended in chaotic scenes with riders crashing and a bus parked on the finish line until moments from the end on Saturday.

German rider Marcel Kittel escaped the mayhem to win the first-ever stage on Corsica, beating Russian sprinter Alexander Kristoff in a sprint finish.

“This is by far the greatest day in my whole life,” Kittel said. “I hope I can sleep, I’m going to be pretty excited about tomorrow.”

What happened behind them was far more incidental.

A late decision was made to shorten the flat stage by three kilometers (two miles) because a bus from the Orica Greenedge team was stuck on the finish line. But organizers managed to move the vehicle just in time.

“This was a really unfortunate situation,” Greenedge sporting director Matt White said. “The bus was led under the finish gantry, and we thought there was enough clearance.”

Kittel was lucky to avoid the crash to win the flat 213-kilometer (132-mile) trek from Porto Vecchio to Bastia in just under five hours.

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