The 99th Tour de France commenced in a predictable manner. Nervous riders battled for the leading 20 places in the field as the peloton raced over the narrow, lumpy roads and lane ways of Belgium and northern France.
The leading teams endeavoured to keep the Tour favourites - Bradley Wiggins and Cadel Evans - out of trouble near the front of the rolling group of riders.
The combination of the nervous start and narrow roads resulted in a series of crashes that seem to feature in the early stages of each year’s Tour.
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