3 Jul 2016

Top 10 for Henderson at Tour de France

8:35 am on 3 July 2016

Otago veteran Greg Henderson is 10th after a crash-marred first stage of cycling's Tour de France.

Lotto-Soudal rider Henderson's just 13 seconds behind British stage winner Mark Cavendish, who completed cycling's prestigious set of distinctive jerseys as he took the overall leader's yellow jersey.

Greg Henderson riding for his Lotto Soudal team in Europe.

Greg Henderson riding for his Lotto Soudal team in Europe. Photo: Graham Watson

The Dimension Data rider outsprinted German Marcel Kittel and world champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia at the end of a 188-kilometre ride from Mont St Michel to near one of the D-Day beaches.

Cavendish, who now has 27 Tour stage wins to his name, held off his rivals after several opponents had been taken out of contention following a crash in the final straight.

The Manxman wore the world champion's rainbow jersey after winning the road race in 2011, the pink jersey for the Giro d'Italia leader (in 2009, 2011 and 2013) as well as the red jersey for the Vuelta leader (2010).

Cavendish also secured the green jersey for the points classification on the Tour de France (2011).

Alberto Contador, twice Tour winner and one of the race favourites, crashed with about 80 kilometres left, suffering bruises to his shoulder, elbow and groin.

"He's got bruises on his shoulder, his elbow and groin," a race doctor said after the Spaniard had his right shoulder taped.

"At first sight it does not look like he has suffered any fracture. We gave him a painkiller."