July 2nd, 2016: English victory in Utah Beach
Author: Marc Laurenceau
Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) won the first stage of the 2016 Tour de France on Saturday (July 2nd) at Utah Beach in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont (Manche). This first stage, 188 km long, led the riders to Utah Beach, the US landing beach during Operation Overlord on June 6, 1944. The start of this first stage was given at the foot of Mont Saint- Michel, one of the most visited tourist sites in France with three million visitors a year.
The peloton then proceeded to Avranches, Granville and Brehal along the coast. At Lessay, the runners headed east through Sainte-Mère-Église before arriving at Utah Beach. The 198 riders traveled 188 kilometers. Mark Cavendish won in front of Germany’s Marcel Kittel and Slovak world champion Peter Sagan.
Runners of several nationalities, guests, organizers and local representatives paid tribute to the outcome of the race to the allied military fallen during Operation Overlord. They deposited white roses in front of the US federal monument and respected a minute of silence.