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Crashes, Chaos During Stage 1 Of Tour De France

Posted: June 29, 2013

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The pileups were predictable. But a bus getting stuck under an arch at the finish line was not. It was moved out of the way just in time for the first stage of the Tour to be completed. Germany's Marcel Kittel was the leader after Day 1.

Riders and bicycles were spread across the road after one of the crashes Saturday during Stage 1 of the Tour de France, which began in Corsica.

Riders and bicycles were spread across the road after one of the crashes Saturday during Stage 1 of the Tour de France, which began in Corsica. Joel Saget/pool

There were pileups on the race course and a bus got stuck at the finish line as the Tour de France began Saturday with "chaos and crashes," as The Guardian puts it.

When Stage 1 was over on Corsica, The Associated Press writes, "German rider Marcel Kittel was first to arrive, after dodging all sorts of mayhem."

NBC Sports has posted a video roundup here.

Crashes, of course, are not uncommon at the Tour. What was quite unusual, though, was how with just minutes to go before the riders arrived at the finish line a bus got wedged under an arch there. Organizers thought about shortening the race. But the day was saved when air was let out of the vehicle's tires. That lowered the bus enough to get it out from under its predicament.

Bill previewed the Tour for us on Friday.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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