In a chaotic start to this year's Tour de France, Marcel Kittel won the race's first stage, with contenders for the overall Alberto Contador and Ryder Hesjedal crashing, sustaining minor injuries. The chaos began when the Orica-GreenEdge team bus became stuck under a timing bridge at the finish of the 213km stage, blocking the road and forcing organizers to move the finish 3km from the line. But when the bus was moved free, the original finish was back on.
As the peloton snaked its way into town, crashes and mechanicals took out stage hopefuls Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan, and Andre Greipel. “I saw the crash happening on the left side, but I couldn’t see what happened. I noticed a few moments later that Mark and André weren’t there," Kittel said at the finish.
While Contador and Hesjedal appear able to continue the race, Tony Martin, the World Time Trial Champion, was taken from the team bus to the hospital after passing out. Early indicated that he broke his collarbone and lost consciousness inside the bus. But an update from his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team revealed that a CT scan excluded fractures. However, Martin did suffer a concussion and a contusion on his left lung. The team will make a decision regarding his participation in the second stage after monitoring his condition overnight.