SAINTE-MARIE-DU-MONT, France — Mark Cavendish can finally wear the yellow jersey.
The British cyclist won a sprint in the crash-marred opening stage of the Tour de France and took the overall lead on Saturday following a picturesque first stage that finished on Utah Beach, where Allied troops landed on D-Day in 1944.
It was Cavendish’s 27th stage win in the French classic — third on the all-time list behind Eddy Merckx (34) and Bernard Hinault (28) — but he had never won the opening leg, which is often a time trial.
German rival Marcel Kittel and Slovakian standout Peter Sagan finished second and third, respectively.
Two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador crashed midway through the stage and several riders were involved in an ugly crash on the final straight.