Sunday, July 2

TdF: Stage 1

George Hincapie became just the fourth American to earn a leader's yellow jersey in the Tour de France ever--following in the footsteps of seven-time champion Lance Armstrong, three-time champion Greg LeMond, and time-trial specialist David Zabriskie. After a strong prologue time trial--just edged out by Norway's Thor Hushovd--Hincapie is among the new favorites following the withdrawal of Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich on Friday because of doping allegations.

Though Jimmy Casper of France won a sprint finish to capture the first stage, Hincapie was able to gain precious seconds at an intermediate sprint near the end of the first stage held over a 185-kilometer course. Hushovd on the other hand was left lying on the ground with blood pouring out of a cut on his right arm after he appeared to have been hit by a spectator, as he jostled to get into a bunch sprint. Hushovd would have retained his lead had he finished among the top three on the day.

The overall standings are:

1. George Hincapie (USA)
2. Thor Hushovd (Norway)
3. David Zabriskie (USA)
4. Sebastian Lang (Germany)
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spain)
6. Stuart O'Grady (Australia)
7. Michael Rogers (Australia)
8. Paolo Savoldelli (Italy)
9. Floyd Landis (USA)
10. BenoĆ­t Vaugrenard (France)