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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 July, 2003, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Racewatch: Stage One
Stage 1: Saint-Denis/Montgeron - Meaux - 168km.


Action from the first stage of the centenary Tour de France which takes the riders from Saint Denis, on the outskirts of Paris, to Meaux, a country town in the heart of Brie.

FINAL RESULT
1. Alessandro Petacchi 3hr 44.33min
2. Robbie McEwen same time
3. Erik Zabel same time
4. Baden Cooke same time
5. Thor Hushovd same time
6. Oscar Freire same time

OVERALL STANDINGS
1. Brad McGee 3h 51.55min
2. David Millar four seconds behind
3. Haimar Zubeldia six seconds behind
4. Jan Ullrich six seconds behind
5. Victor Hugo Pena ten seconds behind
6. Tyler Hamilton ten seconds behind
7. Andy Flickinger ten seconds behind
8. Lance Armstrong 11 seconds behind
9. Joseba Beloki 13 seconds behind
10. Santiago Botero 13 seconds behind


Click refresh for updates. All times BST.

1600: High drama in the final kilometre as a crash knocks out around 150 of the riders and Italian Alessandro Petacchi of the Fassa Bortola team edges out fellow sprinters Robbie McEwen and Erik Zabel for victory on the line.

Brad McGee of the FDJeux.com team retains the yellow jersey .

1550: Andy Flickinger is finally caught by the peloton as the serious sprinters get ready for what looks like being a closely-contested finish. All of the major teams are represented at the front of the peloton.

1545: Erik Zabel sustains a puncture to his rear wheel with around 12km to go which could prove costly and he drops back down the field.

1540: Mengin and Beneteau are finally overtaken by the peloton with 17km to go but Flickinger still maintains an advantage of 25 seconds. Brad McGee, the yellow jersey holder, makes sure he remains in a challenging position.

1530: Going into the final 25km, Flickinger breaks away from Mengin and Beneteau after an earlier break by Beneteau failed to pay dividends but the gap to the peloton is a little more than a minute.

1520:Andy Flickinger moves back into contention with victory in the final sprint of the day at Mauperthuis as the peloton move to under two minutes away from the leading group. Sven Montgomery of the Fassa Bortolo team leads the peloton.

Result of Mauperthuis sprint
1. Andy Flickinger
2. Christophe Mengin
3. Walter Beneteau

1500: The gap is continuing to come down and with less than 50km to go, it is now under three minutes as teams plan their tactics for the final assault.

1440: The lead being held by Mengin, Beneteau and Flickinger is now under five minutes with over 60km to go and they are holding on although the peloton is approaching fast.

1420: Christophe Mengin, wins the third of the day's three climbs to ensure he will start Monday's second stage in the polka-dot jersey for King of the Mountains.

The peloton, which is being led by three teams, Lotto-Domo, Credit Agricole and Fassa Bortolo, have closed the gap on the top three to just under seven minutes.

Result of Cote de Barbeau:
1. Christophe Mengin
2. Walter Beneteau
3. Andy Flickinger

1400: Andy Flickinger picks up some extra seconds with victory in the second sprint of the day but the peloton, who are now eight minutes behind the leading trio, are showing no signs of trying to close the gap.

Results of Avon Sprint:
1. Andy Flickinger
2. Christophe Mengin
3. Walter Beneteau

1340: With an advantage of more than five minutes, the breakaway trio are still setting a sharp pace but the main protagonists remain in the peloton.

1320: The gap between the breakaway trio and the main peloton is now over three and a half minutes after around 50km.

1305: The trio of Christophe Mengin, Andy Flickinger and Walter Beneteau are maintaining their charge ahead of the peloton.

1300: Results of Cote de Champcueil:
1. Christophe Mengin
2. Andy Flickinger
3. Walter Beneteau

1250: Results of sprint at Corbeil-Esonnes:
1. Robbie McEwen
2. Brad McGee
3. Jean-Patrick Nazon

1245: Things are hotting up with Briton David Miller, who was second behind McGee in Saturday's prologue, and Stuart O'Grady moving into contention.

1230: After 10km, the field is altogether with Brad McGee in the middle of the peloton.

1215: Racing gets under way from the start line in Montgeron after the reading of the riders oath and the playing of the French national anthem.





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