Cancellara retains yellow jersey

Canterbury, July 9:

Australian Robbie McEwen shrugged off a crash to produce a trademark burst of power which sealed victory on the first stage of the Tour de France held over 203km from London on Sunday.

Swiss Fabian Cancellara of CSC, the winner of Saturday’s prologue, retained the race leader’s yellow jersey with a 13sec advantage over Astana’s Andreas Kloden. Britain’s David Millar, one of the protagonists in an early five-man breakaway, moved up to third place overall at 21sec and managed to pull on the best climbers’ polka dot jersey.

It was Predictor-Lotto sprinter McEwen, however, who stole the show. As a bunch sprint closed in on the historic Kent town the Milram team of aging sprint great Erik Zabel and Tom Boonen’s Quick Step outfit were leading the dance.

However their superiority in numbers had fizzled out with 400 metres to go, leaving Zabel with little chance.