Breakaway forms as riders weave through Yorkshire

Team Giant-Shimano rider Marcel Kittel before the start of the Tour de France in Leeds. Picture by Bruce Rollinson

Team Giant-Shimano rider Marcel Kittel before the start of the Tour de France in Leeds. Picture by Bruce Rollinson

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The breakaway took little time in forming as the Tour de France got underway amid rousing scenes in West Yorkshire.

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At the head of it was Jens Voigt, who at 42 is the grand old sage of the peloton.

At the Trek press conference in Leeds earlier in the week, the German was teased by the continental press for saying at the same juncture last year that the 100th Tour de France would be his 16th and last.

Twelve months later, and after breaking that promise, he was determined to show the 197 younger men in the peloton that he still has the legs to compete.

He set off before Otley in a three-man break alongside the French duo of Benoit Jarrier (Bretagne-Seche) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis).

The ride to the first climb checkpoint up Cote de Cray was won by Voigt, while Jarrier claimed the first intermediate sprint.

Cote de Cray looked resplendent in full Tour regalia, with the roadside packed with spectators who made the first day in the Yorkshire Dales look like the Pyrenees in week three.

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