BRADLEY WIGGINS successfully negotiated the first stage of the Tour de France in a frantic and pulsating finish in Seraing.
Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford declared mission accomplished as Wiggins finished 16th on yesterday's 198-kilometres undulating loop through the Ardennes region of Belgium around Liege with the same time as rising star Peter Sagan of Slovakia, who claimed victory on his Tour debut.
Wiggins remained second overall behind race leader Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan), who was second yesterday, with Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) third.
Defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) was 20th to remain 17 seconds behind Can-cellara and 10 adrift of Wiggins.
"It was a good effort," Brailsford said. "All in all it was important that Brad didn't lose any time."
Wiggins was wearing the green jersey on behalf of Cancellara, who was in the yellow jersey, and all nine Team Sky riders were wearing yellow helmets as leaders of the team classification following the opening prologue.
Sagan will wear the maillot vert today as he is second behind Can-cellara in the points competition.
Wiggins and his Team Sky colleagues were prominent at the front of the peloton throughout the day, but dropped back on a wide expanse of road by the river Meuse as the route returned towards Liege before moving through the bunch on the final 2.4km ascent to the finish.
SNOOKER: Scotland's Marcus Campbell was crushed 6-1 by England's Ricky Walden in the semi-final of the Wuxi Classic in China. Walden will now face compatriot Stuart Bingham – a 6-5 winner over Mark Davis.
SPEEDWAY: Glasgow Tigers were beaten 46-44 by Edinburgh Monarchs in the Premier League Knockout Cup quarter-final, first leg. A date is still to be negotiated for the return leg at Armadale.