Gaviria claims Tour yellow as Froome and Quintana lose time

Other top contenders Briton Adam Yates and Australian Richie Porte also lost time after being involved in pile-ups.

Colombia's Fernando Gaviria, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, celebrates on the podium after winning the first stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race.   -  afp

Colombian Fernando Gaviria snatched the lead of the Tour de France when he won the opening stage as favourites Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana were involved in separate incidents and lost time on Saturday.

Froome crashed into a grass section on the side of the road with five kilometres left and was quickly back on his bike, but the speeding peloton did not wait as preparations for the final mass sprint had started.

The Briton crossed the line some 50 seconds behind Gaviria, who won a bunch sprint after the 201km ride from Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile ahead of world champion Peter Sagan and German Marcel Kittel, second and third respectively.

Colombian Quintana, twice a Tour runner-up, suffered a puncture 3.5 km from the line and finished more than a minute off the pace.

Other top contenders Briton Adam Yates and Australian Richie Porte also lost time after being involved in pile-ups.