TOUR DE FRANCE: Wiggins stays out of trouble as Sagan marks race debut in style
BRADLEY Wiggins stayed out of trouble as Slovakian Peter Sagan claimed a Tour de France stage win in his race debut.
Britain's yellow jersey hope remains seven seconds adrift of Fabian Cancellara in the overall standings but was never likely to close time given the profile of the 198km first stage between Liege and Seraing.
As expected, a six-man breakaway escaped soon after the peleton rolled out of Liege and they were caught with ten kilometres to go.
A spiteful and technical climb to the finish suited the Classics specialists but favourite Philippe Gilbert could only manage fourth as Slovakian Sagan claimed the stage ahead of Cancellara and Wiggins's Team Sky colleague Edvald Boasson Hagen.
Gilbert then brought home a large fast-finishing group, including Wiggins and defending champion Cadel Evans, who were awarded the same time as the first three home, meaning the overall standing are unchanged.
“Bradley was able to stay out of trouble which was the main thing today. It was good to see Edvald up there to take a good result at the finish," said Team Sky's Sean Yates.
Monday's second stage, a 208km run between Vise and Tournal, should suit last year's green jersey winner Mark Cavendish.
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