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Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto) gave the crowds of Canterbury one of his trademark victories today as he came from nowhere to grab the first stage of this year's Tour de France.
McEwen crashed en route and his team brought him back up to the peloton in time for him to take a stunning win. Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) and Tom Boonen (Quick Step) could not match McEwen's turn of speed in the final 500 metres, and the Aussie romped over the line with enough time to raise his arms in the air as he did so.
"This was one of my best ever wins," McEwen said afterwards. "After I fell, I thought I'd broken my wrist. I've got to thank my team for all their hard work getting me back up. I gave it everything at the finish".
Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile) was involved in a crash and subsequently had to change his bike three times and then chase hard to rejoin the peloton without team-mates. Unfortunately, he could not make it back in time to contest the sprint and lost 2-45.
Britain's David Millar (Saunier Duval) made up for a disappointing result in the opening prologue in London by taking part in a long break through the Kent countryside. He was finally reeled in by the peloton 45km from the finish but moved up to third place as a consolation prize thanks to time bonuses collected along the way.
Millar also won the polka dot King of the Mountains jersey for his efforts, the first British rider to do so since Robert Millar in 1986. He becomes the first British rider in history to have won all four of the Tour's jerseys.
Fabian Cancellara (CSC) retained the yellow jersey and his 13 second lead over Andreas Kloden (Astana).
Eduard Gonzalo (Agritubel) became the first - and only - rider to abandon the 2007 Tour after falling early in the stage.
An estimated 2.5million spectators lined the roads through London and Kent over the weekend, making it one of the most well-attended Tour starts ever.
TOUR DE FRANCE 2007: STAGE ONE RESULTS
1 MCEWEN Robbie (Predictor-Lotto) 203km in 4-39-01
2 HUSHOVD Thor (Credit Agricole)
3 BOONEN Tom (Quick Step)
4 CHAVANEL Sebastian (FDJeux)
5 FEILLU Romain (Agritubel)
6 FORSTER Robert (Gerolsteiner)
7 FREIRE Oscar (Rabobank)
8 BURGHARDT Marcus (T-Mobile)
9 VENTOSO Francisco (Saunier Duval)
10 VAITKUS Thomas (Discovery Channel) all at same time.
42 THOMAS Geraint (Barloworld)
64 MILLAR David (Saunier Duval)
86 WIGGINS Bradley (Cofidis)
143 WEGELIUS Charly (Liquigas) all at same time
186 CAVENDISH Mark (T-Mobile) at 2-45
TOUR DE FRANCE 2007: OVERALL AFTER STAGE ONE
1 CANCELLARA Fabian (CSC) in 4-47-51
2 KLODEN Andreas (Astana) at 13secs
3 MILLAR David (Saunier Duval) at 21secs
4 HINCAPIE George (Discovery Channel) at 23secs
5 WIGGINS Bradley (Cofidis) at 23secs
6 GUSEV Vladimir (Discovery Channel) at 25secs
7 KARPETS Vladimir (Caisse d'Epargne) at 26secs
8 HUSHOVD Thor (Credit Agricole) at 29secs
9 VINOKOUROV Alexandre (Astana) at 30secs
10 DEKKER Thomas (Rabobank) at 31secs
43 THOMAS Geraint (Barloworld)
89 WEGELIUS Charly (Liquigas)
185 CAVENDISH Mark (T-Mobile)
TOUR DE FRANCE 2007: POINTS
1 MCEWEN Robbie (Predictor-Lotto)
TOUR DE FRANCE 2007: KING OF THE MOUNTAINS
1 MILLAR David (Saunier Duval)
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