Added by Gary Dunn on July 3, 2011
Belgian Philippe Gilbert took the yellow jersey on Saturday, winning the first leg of the Tour de France 2011 – three seconds ahead of two time runner-up Australia’s Cadel Evans.
Gilbert completed the first leg of the race, at 191.5km long, in 4 hours, 41 minutes, 41 seconds with a significant effort in the final 500 metres that resulted in the his first tour win. Gilbert’s win came after two major crashes within 6km of each other. The second crash, at 2km from the finish line, reduced the lead group of riders to about 12. Gilbert responded to Swiss champ Fabian Cancellara’s late attack by following his surprise move, leaving Cancellara behind.
Chasing Gilbert were Evans, who took second place and Norwegian Thor Hushovd in third place. Australian Cadel Evans turned in the best of the performances among the race’s contenders.
The Tour de France ends on July 24 and covers 3,400km in 21 stages. The race’s final stage ends with a ride on Paris famous Avenue des Champs-Elysees.