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The London-Paris 2012 Stage 1 + Video

by Henry Peacock

Stage One [21st June] of The London-Paris saw a damp, but exciting start to the event.  450 riders, including cycling legends Stephen Roche, Maurizio Fondriest and cycling professionals Colin Lynch, Karl Platt and Magnus Backstedt, gathered at Imber Court at 05:30 on a rather wet morning.

Imber Court to Dover

This year there were a total of seven speed groups setting off at timed intervals. Other sporting stars in this year's peloton include Nigel Mansell, Joel Stransky and John Salako to name a few.  The riders cycled a total of 169km, taking them through the Surrey Hills, East Sussex, past Ashford and along to Dover.

stephen roche
Triple Crown Winner Stephen Roche

The Yellow, Green and Red flagged time sections saw riders competing for the General Classification, the Sprinter and the Climber jerseys. Greg Mansell finishes Stage One with the Yellow Jersey. The Red Jersey went to professional ex-German National mountain-biker Karl Platt, who took King of the climbs by a very comfortable margin. The Green Jersey went to the fastest sprinter of the day, Shaun Pearson and this year, Annette Loubser took the Pink Jersey as the lead woman, piping Tanya Slater - the fastest woman for the last few years - to the post. Tomorrow will be an interesting day for the ladies as there were seconds between them.

The Days Finish at Dover

The handcyclists got off to a great start, despite the difficult weather conditions and the very early start for their group. Nigel Mansell got to the HotChillee start-line following his epic journey cycling from John O'Groats in the previous days. The rain managed to ease off by the time the peloton was into the swing of Stage One and held off until just before the riders boarded the boat.

  Stage 2 [22nd June] will see the riders start from Calais, heading south to Amiens.

The Route For Stage 1

Stage 1 Video: