16:30 - Thanks for joining us for what ultimately proved a thrilling day in the saddle. A superb debut win for Sagan, an attacking performance by Fabian Cancellara in the yellow - plus the odd thrill and spill thrown in. Be sure to return tomorrow for the 207.5km second stage from Vise to Tournai.
0km - No change at the top, with Fabian Cancellara holding his yellow jersey after nearly pulling off a coup.
0km - Gilbert took fourth in that final sprint, with Mollema fifth, Valverde sixth and Gesink seventh.
0km - The rest of the field arrive in drips and drabs after that fearsome finale.
0km - SAGAN TOO STRONG! The Slovakian sensation nonchalantly celebrates as he crosses the line to take a debut Tour win ahead of Cancellara and Boasson Hagen, with the pack right behind.
0.5km - The peloton sits up because they know they won't catch them. It's cat and mouse for the three leaders, with Fabian on the front with Sagan in second and BH in third.
1km - Cancellara and Sagan are being chased by Boasson Hagen. The yellow jersey wants Sagan to come through, but the 22 year old refuses. We're onto the flat after the climb.
1.4km - Now Cancellara goes!! He has Sagan on his wheel. They have a gap!
1.5km - Sagan was in pursuit of the two leaders but is now dropping back. Cancellara is there too. Wiggins is safe on the front too.
1.8km - Cavendish has popped. Chavanel now attacks! Albasini counters.
2km - GreenEdge have three on the front for Albasini. Evans is right there with Nibali and Sagan. Chavanel is there too.
2.5km - We're onto the Cat.4 Côte de Seraing now, with GreenEdge on the front through Albasini.
3.5km - The only Sky rider near the front is Boasson Hagen. Liquigas have Nibali and Sagan. GreenEdge are forming a train on the front, alongside Lotto. Evans was back, but is now being paced to the front by Hincapie.
4km - Team Sky's Chris Froome is said to be off the back of the bunch...
4.5km - The peloton is so strung out. Remember, we still have the final climb before the finish.
5km - Problem for Alexandre Vinokorov - a rear flat. He needs a bike change.
6km - The road is really wide and another train on the left almost forces a split down the middle of the peloton. Greipel is working on the front of the train, so perhaps Lotto are thinking about Van den Broeck today.
8km - It's Lotton Belisol on the front now, with Hansen, Sieberg and Henderson driving the pace.
9km - The break is caught, with the exception of Maxim Bouet, who tries one last-ditch attempt at staying away. But he's reeled in too. Game on.
11km - BMC are right there too. The pace is very high. Sky have slipped back a little. Astana and Lotto Belisol are primed too. Codifis are jostling for positions. GreenEdge too.
13km - Euskatel are moving to the front, with Liquigas also moving up, as well as Rabobank. The race is coming back together, with the leaders just 20 seconds ahead and some of those caught up in the melee following those two crashes now back on the back of the pack.
15km - The six leaders only have 15 seconds now as they cross the Meuse river
16km - Marcus Burghardt leads the peloton on a downhill drag and tries to avoid an empty water bottle with a bunny hop but lands right on top of it, sending it sprawling behind. Luckily no one is hit by the bottle. But it's very nervous now, with splits appearing and riders trying to fight back on after falls and delays.
18km - Alejandro Valverde of Movistar was also involved in the second crash. His team-mate Rojas went down for the first. Both tipped for the win today.
20km - It looks like that second crash was caused by a spectator standing too far out while taking pictures... Luis Leon Sanchez was the Rabobank rider involved in the first crash.
21km - ANOTHER CRASH: Big pile up on the right. Not too heavy a fall. Montfort of RadioShack involved. And Julien Simon of Saur-Sojasun. And an Astana rider. Gaps appearing everywhere.
23km - CRASH: Four riders are down after a crash on the right of the peloton. Michael Rogers of Team Sky is one of them. Looks like a Movistar rider too (Rojas), one from Katusha (Karpets?) and a Rabobank rider, who is still on the floor.
25km - The lead has crept back up above the minute mark. While Europcar have Gene in the leading group, three of their kind are right on the back of the peloton. Jean-Rene Bernaudeau's men had an underwhelming day yesterday, with Voeckler the best place in the prologue at 109th.
28km - It's under 30k and under one minute now. RadioShack, BMC and Sky are on the front of the bunch. Gilbert, one of the favourites today, looks relaxed.
35km - Today's finish is really hard to predict - there are so many different scenarios and potential outcomes. This break holding on is not one of them.
36km - The teams of the race's main protagonists are beginning to congregate on the front of the pack now as the pace is increased and the positioning starts with gusto. Everyone is going to want to be near the front today in a bid to avoid any spills. It's going to make it extra nervous. The lead is down to 1:15.
43km - It's quite windy out there today, which may make the finish even more nervous and testing. The gap is 1:38 for the six leaders. A reminder of those men, who broke clear after just a couple of kilometres: Yohann Gène (Europcar), Pablo Urtasun (Euskatel-Euskadi), Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun) and Michael Mørkøv (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank).
45km - Carlton Kirby, the stats man on Eurosport TV, is sticking with Sagan for today's win. Meanwhile, Sean Kelly says: "It's a really interesting finish because some think the sprinters won't make it, others think they will hold on. I think it will be hard for the sprinters. So the likes of Gilbert and Sagan should put up the better performances. Valverde and Sanchez too."
46km - David Harmon is stressing just how much Gilbert is suited the finish today - "he's from the area and they built this finish for him" - but the Eurosport commentator has chosen yellow jersey Fabian Cancellara as an outside bet for the victory. Interesting.
50km - The gap is down to 1:35 with 50km remaining. Stephen Roche is currently talking to David Harmon and Sean Kelly in the Eurosport commentary box. His tips for the day are Gilbert and Sagan - but he's not discounting Cavendish hanging on and getting a first win.
53km - Numerous riders are being blown off the back on these numerous uphill drags. Matthew Lloyd of Lampre is struggling to keep up with the pace, although it may be merely tactical, as he drops back to speak to his team car. The pace set by RadioShack is befitting of a team with an average age of more than 33 - that's the oldest team since WWII.
54km - The leaders pass through the town of Tahogne. They are back as six after Gene caught up following a bike change. The gap is 2:10.
56km - Yohann Gene needs a bike change so the Europcar sprinter will have to ride solo in pursuit of the other five escapees. The gap back to the peloton is 2:25.
58km - Pablo Urtasun Perez leads the sprint out for the point, taking Michael Morkov with him. The Euskaltel rider looked to have it in the bag, but a late surge of pace from the Dane means Morkov will be wearing the polka dot jersey tonight. He clenches his first in celebration and receives a nice tap on the shoulder from Perez.
60km - The average speed after three hours was 37.8km/h. If this stage remains under 39km/h by the time we reach Seraing, this will be slowest opening stage of the Tour since 1982 (38.77 km/h). Thanks to Infostrada Sports for that stat.
62km - There's an air of inevitability as the lead drops below three minutes. Of the leading group, Morkov will be keen to get the final point needed to secure the polka dot jersey tonight. Expect a battle at the summit of this climb...
65km - The fourth of five Cat.4 climbs is coming up. The six leaders now have 3:05 ovbr the peloton as the sun continues to beat down in Belgium. With a nervous finish expected, the riders will be pleased that quick rain shower has finished.
68km - Renshaw took 6 points at that sprint for 10th place. The Australian was followed by Van Hummel, Sagan, Rojas, Bozic and Boasson Hagen.
70km - It was interesting to see Cavendish contest the intermediate sprint there: the Manxman said the green jersey was not an objective this year, but his actions clearly show otherwise. Sky DS Sean Yates was just quizzed about it on French TV: "You never know what can happen over the course of three weeks and he didn't need to use up too much energy to contest the sprint so it was worth going for it."
73km - The lead lost a lot of time after Lotto Belisol's active pursuit of the intermediate points. The gap is back to around 3:50 now.
76km - Yes, it was Goss who took the points for seventh, ahead of world champion Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel coming in for ninth. Sagan was there, but couldn't keep up with the others.
80km - There's a fierce battle for the remaining points as the peloton approaches the sprint. Vacansoleil and Lotto Belisol are particlarly active on the front, but it looks like Goss, Cavendish, Greipel and Renshaw. To be confirmed.
81km - Europcar's Gene leads out the sprint. Edet of Cofidis moves to the front, but then Gene easily powers through to take the 20 points ahead of Euskaltel's Perez and Edet. That puts Gene into the virtual green jersey, although unless he wins the stage he won't be in the points jersey tonight.
82km - The rain is over and the sun is out again. Very changeable weather in this part of Belgium. The six leaders are approaching the first intermediate sprint.
85km - The drizzle has started to turn to rain as the riders carve their way through the Ardennes forests.
88km - And what of RadioShack's chances in the GC? "We're not starting with Tour victory in mind but then only two teams do, Team Sky with (Bradley) Wiggins and BMC with (Cadel) Evans," said Gallopin. "Everybody's talking about a third man and I'm convinced it can be Kloeden. He's a TT man and the Tour route has never suited him so well. He's getting old but with his experience I think he can go for the podium. It's one of our objectives."
90km - On Johan Bruyneel's absence, Gallopin had some telling thoughts: "I'm sorry Johan's not here simply because we get on very well and it's fun to be on a race together. But it's OK, I know how to handle a team. My job has always been to bring some harmony."
92km - RadioShack DS Alain Gallopin spoke to Reuters today about his team's woes and Fabian Cancellara's win on Sunday. "It was a great relief after all the hard luck we had all year. Our season was marred by two hard blows: Fabian's crash in the Tour of Flanders and then Andy Schleck's crash in the Dauphine."
93km - The peloton has eased up as they feed themselves. As such, the leaders have increased their advantage to just over four minutes. Rain is beginning to fall now - that will add another dynamic to this stage.
95km - RadioShack's Maxime Montfort has been allowed to ride off the front to say hello to his family, which has gathered near the feed zone. That will taste good for the Belgian.
100km - Approaching the half-way point of this long opening stage, and the leaders pass through the feeding zone with a hap of 3:45 over the bunch.
103km - Yes, it was Michael Morkov who took the point - he's now on two points in the KOM standings, with Pablo Urtasun Perez on one.
104km - Delaplace is reeled in by the five other escapees and it's Morkov who is on the front, watching Perez who lurks in his wheel. Edet then attacks, but Morkov is too strong - and the Dane just holds off Perez for the point. Although we'll have to check the replays - that was close.
105km - Edet leads the group, with Gene sitting in his wheel. Now Perez and Delaplace come to the fore. The peloton has just started the climb as Delaplace leads out the sprint for the points...
106km - The leaders are onto the third climb of the day, the Cat.4 Côte de Lierneux.
107km - The gap is 2:40 now. The sky is filled with ominous-looking grey clouds, but the sun is shining through in intervals, and there is the odd patch of blue.
110km - Tony Martin is off the back again for some assistance. He has a cut to his left elbow and seems to have a sore backside too and sore left wrist. The German crashed after 11km today after a tangle with Robbie Hunter.
112km - Behind the RadioShack veterans are the distinctive yellow helmets of Team Sky. A new regulation means the team leading the team standings are required to wear yellow helmets. It looks pretty odd - and they clash terribly with the lime green helmets of Liquigas.
115km - RadioShack are dominating the front of the pack now, with experienced old boys Jens Voigt and Yaroslav Popovych putting in decent shifts. Another veteran, Levi Leipheimer of OPQS needs some mechanical assistance with his saddle and pulls onto the side of the road. The gap is 2:27 at the moment for the six leaders.
118km - After two hours of racing, the average speed is 38.6 km/h.
120km - The peloton is riding hard to reduce the gap to just 3:10. Today's finish comes after an uphill climb and that may rule out the likes of Cavendish, Greipel and Kittel. As such, their teams may try and reel in this group before the intermediate sprint in a bid to contest the points for the green jersey.
125km - The lead of the six escapees has dropped to 3:50. Apologies for those following these comments on the internet: we have a slight technical problem with the live times and placings which we will sort out as soon as possible.
126km - Eurosport/Yahoo cycling blogger will be supplying a daily piece from the Tour de France. Yesterday, instead of concentrating on Spartacus and his latest ITT masterclass, Saddles decided to focus on Dave Zabriskie's quest to finish every stage in 69th place. For internet users, click on the link below to read more... Blazin' Saddles: Zabriskie’s 69er
128km - Update on Tony Martin: the German world time trial champion, who crashed alongside Robbie Hunter after 11km of racing today, has a sore wrist and some cuts to his leg. The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider has not had much luck so far in this year's race: a puncture did for his chances in yesterday's prologue and now he's needed to seek the medical car on numerous occasions since that spill.
130km - Speaking ahead of today's stage, Sylvain Chavanel said his favourite for the win in Seraing was a certain Tour debutant from Slovakia: "For me the favourite for this stage is (Peter) Sagan. I am certainly not going to win, but I'll do my best to keep up with him."
135km - Today's finish comes after a steep Cat.4 climb which should rule out the pure sprinters. The favourites will be the likes of Alejandro Valverde, Peter Sagan, Simon Gerrans, Philippe Gilbert and Edvald Boasson Hagen. Don't rule out a GC rider like Vincenzo Nibali or Cadel Evans, mind. They will be up for getting an early win on the cards. Who do you think will win in Seraing? Have your say in the comments section...
142km - The road flattens out now for 40-odd kilometres before the third of five Cat.4 climbs, which arrives just before the feeding zone. The gap of the six leaders is 4:50. A reminder of their names: Yohann Gène (Europcar), Pablo Urtasun (Euskatel-Euskadi), Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun) and Michael Mørkøv (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank).
145km - Fabian Cancellara is wearing the yellow jersey for the 22nd day in his career - that's the best out of any current rider in the peloton according to the stats people. He leads Wiggins and Chavanel by seven seconds in the GC - and RadioShack are keen to protect his lead today. Sky are the best-placed team in the standings and as such, they are all wearing yellow helmets. Tour de France: Yellow jersey guide
150km - Edet and Morkov are having a thrilling duel today - but it's Euskaltel's Urtasun Perez who takes the point at the top of the second climb of the day. We have a tie now on the top of the KOM standings between the Basque rider and Dane Morkov.
153km - After a short descent, the six leaders are already approaching the second climb of the day, the Cat.4 Côte de Francorchamps. The lead is 4:25 at the moment.
155km - Danish rider Michael Morkov took the point over the summit. He is the virtual polka dot jersey. Frenchman Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) had launched the first attack, but the Saxo Bank rider reeled him in.
156km - The leaders are onto the Cat.4 Côte de Cokaifagne (2.9km at 5.1%). There's a solitary point up for grabs over the summit so expect some fireworks from the sextet out in front, who all clearly attacked with the polka dot jersey in mind today.
158km - A reminder of what happened in yesterday's opening prologue: Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack) put in a virtuoso display to take the win in Liege, seven seconds ahead of Bradley Wiggins and Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel. Report: Cancellara beats Wiggins in Tour prologue
160km - The gap has ballooned to 3:45 ahead of the first climb of the day, which is coming right up now.
162km - American Tejay van Garderen (BMC), riding his second Tour, is the white jersey after a fine ride in yesterday's prologue. He leads Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) by one second in the youth standings. Tour de France: White jersey guide
165km - Some early crashes from today's stage to report: Tony Martin's luck gets worse - the German OPQS rider crashed alongside Robbie Hunter (Garmin) at the 11km mark. Anthony Roux (FDJ) and Bram Tankink (RAB) also hit the deck after 22km. All four appear to be okay, although Martin has dropped back to talk to the medical car.
168km - The reason for that sudden drop in the lead was a passing train: the six leaders had to wait at a crossing. It dropped to just over a minute, but the peloton seems content to allow them to ride out again in front. The Gap is back above two minutes now.
170km - The six leaders see their gap drop below two minutes. The first climb of this year's race is fast approaching. It's the delightfully named Cat.4 Côte de Cokaifagne. It's a slightly overcast day in Belgium, with the sun peeking out every now and then through the clouds. Temperature around 18 degrees centigrade. Weather report for Liege
175km - The gap is up to 2:45 for the leaders. Danish virtual yellow jersey Michael Morkov said he'd not only go on the offensive today, he'd also try and take the polka dot jersey. The Saxo Bank man is keeping to his word.
180km - Britain's Bradley Wiggins is the unlikely wearer of the greem jersey today after finishing second in yesterday's opening prologue. The points jersey will be one of the most intriguing competitions in this year's race, with newcomer Peter Sagan the favourite to take Mark Cavendish's crown. Tour de France green jersey guide
185km - With five Cat.4 climbs on the agenda today, we'll see someone in the polka dot mountains jersey today. There is just a solitary point for whoever crosses the summit first of each climb so expect a fierce battle. Three of the climbs appear ahead of the intermediate sprint, which may see the race come back together - especially in mind of the tricky uphill finish. Tour de France: Polka dot jersey guide
188km - The gap is now 2:10 for this six-man escape group.
189km - Michael Morkov of Saxo Bank-Tinkoff is the best-placed rider on GC of the escape group. He was 51st in the ITT yesterday and was 24 seconds slower than Cancellara over the 6.4km route.
190km - You can watch the action for yourself at 12.30pm on British Eurosport. Alternatively, watch the action online. Watch on the Eurosport Player
192km - The gap is now 30 seconds. We have five Cat 4 climbs on the stage, including one at the finish, and one intermediate sprint at 117km.
194km - The six escapees are Gene (EUC), Urtasun Perez (EUS), Bouet (ALM), Edet (COF), Delaplace (SAU) and Morkov (STB). They are 20 seconds clear of a peloton controlled by RadioShack-Nissan.
198km - The stage is under way with an immediate attack from six riders.
11:35 - Tour de France champion Cadel Evans has looked forward to the start of the 'real race' after finishing 13th in Saturday's prologue and losing time to arch rival Bradley Wiggins. Evans: Real Tour starts on Sunday
11:30 - The Tour de France's first stage is a 198km run from Liege to Seraing. Itinerary