Tour de France Shorts: Hello Kittel! Giant-Shimano sprinter gets a special yellow bike as Tour de France leader

Gerrans at the start; Kittel doesn't see royalty; Fans must stay off road, riders say; and Ten Dam's eating preferences

Yellow bike for Kittel

Marcel Kittel set off on the second stage resplendent in the Tour de France leader's yellow jersey and riding a special yellow version of his Giant bike.

Kittel rides the Propel Advanced model of Giant bike. It is the company's aero model, with a sleek shape, compact rear triangle, level top tube, shielded rear wheel, clipped down tube tail, and integrated direct-pull brakes.

It also helps Kittel put his huge amount of power down on the road in sprints. Instead of the usual black and yellow look, Kittel's bike has yellow graphics, a yellow rear triangle and bright yellow bar tape.

Kittel also wore yellow and black shorts, a yellow helmet and yellow sunglasses to go with his race leader's yellow jersey. 

Gerrans "a bit stiff and sore"  

Simon Gerrans of Orica-GreenEdge was the other victim in stage one’s closing crash, but was able to take the start in York.

"I'm pretty sore at the moment. Last night I couldn't believe how I got away so lightly after the crash but I'm a bit stiff and sore. I still hope to come away with something from the stage though," he told Cyclingnews before the start.

"It's so difficult to win stages in the Tour so to try and win when carrying injuries makes it more difficult. Realistically I don't rate my chances that highly but I have high hopes all the same."

The Australian said that he had heard from Mark Cavendish. "He called me last night and apologised and said it was all his fault, that was nice for him to acknowledge. He's out and I'm not going to make decisions for the jury but the fact that he's out is a huge shame for him."

Kittel likes Kate's green

Marcel Kittel had a lot on his mind when he mounted the podium after winning the first stage of the Tour de France, and noticing who else was there was not his priority.

"I was lost in my thoughts as I climbed the steps to the podium, looking down and thinking about the race," he wrote on his Facebook page. "Then I looked to the side and saw Harry, Kate and William. They were laughing because I had not noticed them. But they were easy-going and very nice."

The Giant-Shimano sprinter was particulary struck by the Duchess’ outfit. "With her green outfit, Kate made the fashion statement that she likes the sprinters best ;-)"

Stay off the road!

All the riders were enthusiastic about the crowds at Saturday’s opening stage, but they also all sent the same message: Stay off the road!

World time trial champon Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) put it this way, on his Facebook page. "It was unbelievably dangerous with the fans. They stand so close and at times full on the road. It might be okay when you are climbing, because we aren't going so fast. The problem there is more tactical, because if you are in 20th position or further back, you have run into the danger of coming to a standstill."

"But even on the flat sections you could see mothers sitting on the sidewalk with a baby on their lap. They probably don't have any idea how fast we come by, so I can’t really blame them. It is a fine line between protecting the fans and carrying out the competition. We may fall softly, but it is dangerous for the fans if we run into them at 60 km/h.

"So please take care of yourselves, your children and of us too."

Ten Dam needs his peanut butter

Laurens ten Dam is happy that Belkin has its own personal chef at the Tour. It is someone who understands cyclists, as it is Lars Boom's brother.

"He knows exactly what everybody wants and makes yummy and healthy food. I really like omelettes with jamón serrano. He knows that and makes that for me," ten Dam said.

But most importantly, he understands ten Dam’s particular wishes. "I need my peanut butter, too, for my fresh Bisschopsmolen sandwiches. Otherwise I'll become crazy!"

By the way, all we could find out about "Bisschopsmolen sandwiches" is that Bisschopsmolen is a bakery in Maastricht.

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