Sylvain Chavanel of Cofidis and Stuart O'Grady share their impressions of stage one in their Tour de France diaries.
Chavanel: Not a great beginning
I have to admit that today wasn't such a great beginning of the Tour de France for me and my team Cofidis. Like every year, this first stage was very nervous. The guys were all over each other, and there were several crashes. People thought I had crashed, too, but I didn't have any problem. Actually, at one point, I stopped to urinate, and that's when another crash happened right in front of me. Which is why I chased back to the bunch at the same time than the guys that had crashed, and it made it look like I had been involved, too. But fortunately, I hadn't!
During the stage, I made sure I always within the first 20 or 30 riders. But in that last, long descent before the finish, I was a bit further back, and I got trapped. I couldn't chase back when the bunch fell apart. The field split up into several groups, and I came through the finish at 31 seconds. So that's not a very satisfying result...
O'Grady: A chaotic start
It's always nice to get the first stage of the Tour de France outta the way. The few days sitting around before a big race are the worst. It feels like every day is never ending.
It was really strange starting without a prologue. It's the first time in my last 12 Tours de France that we haven't had a prologue and I must admit, you can't beat the feeling of rolling down the start ramp, nerves and adrenalin pumping.
It seemed like a bit of a shame just rolling outta Brest and racing without a maillot jaune in the peloton. Still, it certainly made for a chaotic, nervous and dangerous opening stage because 99 percent of the guys on the start line were 'dreaming' they'd be in yellow tonight.