Sunday, July 3, 2011

2011 Tour de France, Stage 1

For Lampre-ISD, the Tour de France 2011 didn’t begin with a top result but the blue-fucsia team could be satisfied with Damiano Cunego’s performance in the 1st stage (Passage Du Gois-Mont des Alouettes, 191,5 km).

Cunego was in the head of the peloton when Maxim Iglinskiy (Team Astana) clipped a fan along the right side of the road and then ricocheted causing a massive pile up in the peloton with 8.5 km to go. Only 30 riders avoided the pile up. Contador and other GC contenders were caught out. Watch crash and last Kms here.

Cunego was on Philippe Gilbert’s wheel when, at 800 meters to go, Cancellara attacked. Cunego tried to react, but the quickest was Gilbert, who produced a marvelous counter-attack that gave him the victory and the first yellow jersey. Cadel Evans crossed the finish line after 3″, Cunego arrived at -6 in the small group.

"The team had the targets of trying to obtain a result with Petacchi and of supporting me in order to allow me to be in the head position of the bunch so to avoid crashes or other problems," said Cunego. "I had good luck but Petacchi hadn't, so I tried to compete for a good result. I had good feelings, but Gilberto was too strong".

Contador was -1.20. He also conceded 1.14 to key rivals including Evans, Andy and Frank Schleck (Leopard Trek), Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas).

Photo: Gilbert sprints to the win (Bettini photo)

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