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Philippe Gilbert wins opening stage

Updated: July 2, 2011, 5:58 PM ET
Associated Press

MONT DES ALOUETTES, France -- Philippe Gilbert won the first stage of the Tour de France on Saturday to take the yellow jersey, while defending champion Alberto Contador lost more than a minute because of a late crash.

The Belgian rider, who dazzled fans by winning three classics races in April, sped ahead from the pack in the final several hundred yards and kissed his jersey as he crossed the line.

"It was the last 500 meters, I had a lead ... (and) I went for it," Gilbert ...

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