3 Jul 2011

Belgian Gilbert wins Tour de France first stage

7:12 am on 3 July 2011

Belgian rider Philippe Gilbert has won the opening stage of the Tour de France as Alberto Contador started his title defence in the worst possible manner.

The controversial Spanish champion lost more than a minute to the other favourites after being held back by a crash near the finish.

Australia's Cadel Evans was second on the 191 and a half kilometre stage between Passage de Gois and Mont des Alouettes.

Norway's Thor Hushovd finished third, while New Zealand's sole representative on the famous cycle race, Julian Dean, finished 182nd.