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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