In a spectacular first stage of the 2014 Tour de France starting in Leeds, Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) sprinted to victory on stage 1 after a crash-marred finale in Harrogate.

Fan favourite Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing) along French breakaway companions Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Benoit Jarrier (Bretagne-Seche Environments) were let go from the beginning, building a lead of roughly three minutes, but only Voigt was left by the time they summited Cote de Buttertubs with the peloton beginning to chase behind. Voigt’s solo ride came to an end with 59km remaining as he crested Grinton Moor where the peloton swallowed him up.

A dramatic finish saw three dominant leadout trains (Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Giant-Shimano and Lotto-Belisol) fighting for position when Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) came from nowhere to gain a sizeable gap at one kilometre remaining. He momentarily looked like he might be able to hold them off.

At roughly 300m remaining, after Cancellara, was caught and the sprinters were at the front Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) collided sending both to the ground. Ahead of the crash, Marcel Kittel took the bunch finish at the head of a small group of four riders who stayed clear of the crash. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) crossed the line second while Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) rounded out the podium.

Click here for a full stage report and results for Stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de France.