The 2011 Tour de France is underway, and unsurprisingly, it didn't take long for a breakaway to get away from the peloton. The race started with a symbolic ride across the historic Passage du Gois, a path covered by the ocean during high tide, from the Isle of Noirmoutier to the mainland. It didn't take long for the breakaway to take off after the peloton was clear of the Passage du Gois, and the pack will now have to bring them back.
Jeremy Roy, Perrig Quemeneur and Lieuwe Estra were the three men who took off and they were allowed to build a sizable lead, to about seven minutes. However, once it got that large the teams of the sprinters took over up front and the peloton has brought them back to a gap just under five minutes, which they will hold for a while. It would be surprising if this group of three was able to survive.
Today's stage isn't a true sprinters' stage, as it ends with a small category four climb. Look for balanced sprinters like Oscar Friere and Thor Hushovd to be in contention, along with time trial and classics specialist Fabian Cancellara.
If you're looking for live coverage and updates online, be sure to stay with our 2011 Tour de France StoryStream. Get geared up for the 2011 Tour de France with Podium Cafe's five storylines to watch. Also be sure to check out the full route and schedule for this year's race.