The 2013 Tour de France’s opening week has been a fitting celebration of the race’s 100th edition. With plot twists aplenty, a string of new riders in the yellow jersey and some great racing, it’s already been a Tour to remember.

Cast your mind back to the opening road stage on Saturday, June 29. The first few hours of racing were surprisingly tame as the peloton lumbered around the roads of Corsica. For a while, we pondered whether ASO had made a mistake by electing to start the race with a road stage instead of a prologue time trial. It really was that bad.

Then… boom. The final 10 kilometres of the race were utter carnage. There were the inevitable crashes that held up some of the key sprinters, including Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), but it was the Orica-GreenEdge bus stuck under the finish-line gantry like a beached whale that led to a farcical turn of events.

Panicking officials first moved the finish line back three kilometres, and then to its original position as the bloated vehicle was freed from its shackles. In the end, the riders didn’t know where the finish was, and neither did anyone else. Such was the resulting mess that the stage’s timing was neutralised, with Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) finding the finish line to take his first Tour stage win and earning the right to wear the coveted yellow jersey.

Thankfully, the following days were dictated by racing rather than trapped team vehicles but were no less entertaining. Race director Christian Prudhomme wanted more riders to have a chance of wearing the maillot jaune this year – and his wish has come true. Five riders have so far led the race, compared to last year’s two in its entirety (Fabian Cancellara and Bradley Wiggins) – and eight different teams have enjoyed stage wins, with no one rider taking more than one victory so far (team time trial excluded).

The weekend’s Pyrenean excursion could so easily have been a lame duck, with the general classification riders watching each other as a break went up the road. Not this year. On Saturday’s stage eight, Chris Froome (Sky) launched a devastating attack on the climb to Ax 3 Domaines, after Sky had shattered the bunch with a show of crushing domination.

The following day on stage nine, Sky were literally nowhere to be seen. Froome found himself isolated as Saxo-Tinkoff (for Alberto Contador) and Movistar (for Alejandro Valverde) riders ganging up on the gangly Brit to try and make him crack. He didn’t, and he goes into the first rest day having thoroughly earned his time in the yellow jersey. Accusations of Froome and Sky being domineeringly robotic have, for now, been dismissed.

History has been made at the 2013 Tour already. Orica-GreenEdge scored its first Tour stage win with Simon Gerrans, and then set the new fastest average speed of a Tour stage ever (57.8kmh) to win the team time trial. The squad’s Daryl Impey also became the first South African to take the race lead. Orica’s performance in the race has almost been enough for us to forget that opening day’s bus mishap. Almost.

British fortunes
It’s been a mixed bag for the British riders. Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) has taken his first victory in the colours of British national road race champion (stage five), and Froome has joined the elite list of British riders to have led the Tour – Tom Simpson, Chris Boardman, Sean Yates, David Millar and Bradley Wiggins.

But Geraint Thomas (Sky) has suffered bad luck. The Welshman fractured his pelvis after being caught in one of the opening stage’s pile-ups and has battled on through the race despite enduring obvious pain.

Peter Kennaugh (Sky) put in a huge turn on Saturday’s stage eight in the Pyrenees to set up Froome for the stage win, but the following day ended up off the side of the road and in a ditch. Shaken but relatively unscathed, Kennaugh waited by the side of the road for a new bike and chased back on. The crash and Kennaugh’s subsequent chase must have taken its toll, and undoubtedly played its part in Froome’s isolation from his team-mates later in the day.

Sprinters battle
Just as he did in his debut Tour de France last year, Peter Sagan (Cannondale) has dominated the points classification so far.

With a string of top finish placings, a stage win and good results in the intermediate sprints, Sagan has amassed 234 points. His closest rival, Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) has 141 points with 2011 green jersey winner Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) on 128.

The fact that Sagan has already accumulated more points over nine stages than Cavendish did in the entire race last year (220) does not bode well for anyone else’s chance of relieving ‘The Hulk’ of the green jersey.

Points aside, in terms of stage wins it’s been a pretty even fight between the sprinters with Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) joining Sagan, Greipel and Cavendish in scoring a stage win apiece. Plenty more to come in the next two weeks.

The King of the Mountains classification has been slightly more straightforward, with Pierre Rolland (Europcar) sporting his questionable polka-dot onesie with pride.

Tour de France 2013: The race so far

Stages completed: nine
Stages to go: 12
Kilometres completed: 1510.5km
Kilometres to go: 1893.5km
Kilometres todal: 3404km
Team buses stuck under finish-line gantries: 1

Tour de France 2013: Current classification leaders (after stage nine)
Overall (yellow jersey): Chris Froome (Great Britain) Sky
Points (green jersey): Peter Sagan (Slovakia) Liquigas-Cannondale
King of the Mountains (polka-dot jersey): Pierre Rolland (France) Europcar
Young rider (white jersey): Nairo Quintana (Colombia) Movistar 

Tour de France 2013: Yellow jerseys awarded
Marcel Kittel (Germany) Argos-Shimano 1
Jan Bakelants (Belgium) RadioShack-Leopard 2
Simon Gerrans (Australia) Orica-GreenEdge 2
Daryl Impey (South Africa) Orica-GreenEdge 2
Chris Froome (Great Britain) Sky 2 

Tour de France 2013: Stage wins by team
Orica-GreenEdge 2
Argos-Shimano 1
RadioShack-Leopard 1
Omega Pharma-QuickStep 1
Lotto-Belisol 1
Cannondale 1
Sky 1
Garmin-Sharp 1 

Tour de France 2013: Stage wins by nation
(Excluding team time trial)
Germany 2
Great Britain 2
Australia 1
Belgium 1
Ireland 1
Slovakia 1

Tour de France 2013: Withdrawals
Riders left in race: 182
Riders withdrawn: 16
Team with least amount of riders in the race: Astana (six)

Overall classification after stage nine
1. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky in 36-59-18
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1-25
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 1-44
4. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin 1-50
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff at 1-51
6. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 1-51
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 2-02
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp at 2-28
9. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 2-31
10. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar at 2-45
Other
15. Andy Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Leopard at 4-00
16. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 4-36
33. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 18-30
41. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp at 26-08
51. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing at 35-01

Lanterne Rouge: 182. Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos-Shimano at 1-58-18

Stage one

Saturday, June 29
From Porto Vecchio
To Bastia
Distance 212km
Stage type Flat

Top three
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
3. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM

Race leader
Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano

Report >> | Photos >>

Stage two

Sunday, June 30
From Bastia
To Ajaccio
Distance 154km
Stage type Medium mountains

Top three
1. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-Leopard
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale at 1 sec
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-QuickStep

Race leader
Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-Leopard

Report >> | Photos >>

Stage three

Monday, July 1
From Ajaccio
To Calvi
Distance 145.5km
Stage type Medium mountains

Top three
1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
3. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar

Race leader
Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-Leopard

Report >> | Photos >>

Stage four

Tuesday, July 2
From Nice
To
Nice
Distance 25km
Stage type Team time trial

Top three
1. Orica-GreenEdge in 25-56
2. Omega Pharma-Quickstep at 1 sec
3. Team Sky at 3 secs

Race leader
Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge

Report >> | Photos >>

Stage five

Wednesday, July 3
From Cagnes-sur-Mer
To
Marseille
Distance 228.5km
Stage type Hilly

Top three
1. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale

Race leader
Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge

Report >> | Photos >>

Stage six

Thursday, July 4
From Aix-en-Provence
To
Montpellier
Distance 176.5km
Stage type Flat

Top three
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
3. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano

Race leader
Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge

Report >> | Photos >>

Stage seven

Friday, July 5
From Montpellier
To
Albi
Distance 205.5km
Stage type Medium mountains

Top three
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano
3. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Saxo-Tinkoff

Race leader
Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge

Report >> | Photos >>

Stage eight

Saturday, July 6
From Castres
To
Ax 3 Domaines
Distance 195km
Stage type High mountains

Top three
1. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0-51
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 1-08

Race leader
Chris Froome (GBr) Sky

Report >> | Photos >>

Stage nine

Sunday, July 7
From Saint-Girons
To
Bagnères-de-Bigorre
Distance 168.5km
Stage type High mountains

Top three
1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at same time
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 20 secs

Race leader
Chris Froome (GBr) Sky

Report >> | Photos >>

Tour de France 2013: Latest news
Sky reflects on a ‘bad day’
Sky’s rivals crumble on Ax 3 Domaines
Froome: Nothing compares to being in the Tour’s yellow jersey
Vande Velde abandons his final Tour de France
Cannondale efforts leave Sagan in control of Tour green jersey
Garmin; Hot, hard, hilly – it’s the Tour
Impey rides into Tour de France history books
Van Den Broeck out of the Tour
Ted King cut from Tour
Marcel Kittel’s Felt F1 FRD team bike
Orica elated with Tour success
Brailsford very, very happy after Nice team time trial
Froome catches Tour rivals off-guard with stage two move
Geraint Thomas still suffering after stage one crash
Froome: ‘Things have changed since Armstrong’s time’
Tour sprinters denied battle on stage one due to crashes

Tour de France 2013: Teams, riders, start list
Tour de France 2013 start list
Tour de France 2013 team tracker – squad rosters as they are announced

Tour de France 2013: Stage reports
Stage nine: Martin wins stage as Froome fights to keep lead
Stage eight: Froome wins Tour mountains stage to take overall lead
Stage seven: Sagan scores first win of 2013 Tour
Stage six: Greipel wins as Impey moves into lead
Stage five: Cavendish wins; Gerrans keeps lead
Stage four: Orica win Tour’s team time trial to put Gerrans in yellow
Stage three: Gerrans outpaces Sagan to take win
Stage two: Millar denied yellow as Bakelants takes spoils
Stage one: Kittel wins chaotic opening stage

Tour de France 2013: Podcasts
Podcast six (stage nine)
Podcast five (stage eight)
Podcast four (stage six)
Podcast three (stage five)
Podcast two (stage four)
Podcast one (stage one)

Tour de France 2013: Comment, analysis, blogs
Tour de France: 100 Tours, 1,000 stories

Tour de France 2013: Photo galleries
Stage nine by Graham Watson
Stage eight by Andy Jones
Stage eight by Graham Watson
Stage seven by Andy Jones
Stage seven by Graham Watson
Stage six by Andy Jones
Stage six by Graham Watson
Stage five by Andy Jones
Stage five by Graham Watson
Stage four by Andy Jones
Stage four by Graham Watson
Stage three by Graham Watson
Stage two by Graham Watson
Stage one by Graham Watson
Team presentation by Graham Watson

Tour de France 2013: Live text coverage
We will be covering every stage of the 2013 Tour de France with live and interactive text commentary, in association with Castelli Cafe.
Stage eight live text coverage
Stage seven live text coverage
Stage six live text coverage
Stage five live text coverage
Stage four live text coverage
Stage three live text coverage
Stage two live text coverage
Stage one live text coverage

Tour de France 2013: TV schedule
Tour de France on TV: British Eurosport schedule
Tour de France on TV: ITV4 schedule

Tour de France 2013: Related links
Tour de France 2013: Who will win?
Tour de France 2013: The Big Preview
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish
Brief history of the Tour de France
1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever

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