Tour organisers hail first Corsica visit

Tour de France organisers declared the event's first ever visit to Corsica to be a resounding success on Monday after the completion of the last of three stages to be held on the Mediterranean island.

The decision to bring the Tour to Corsica for the first time was taken to help mark the 100th staging of the sport's most famous race.

Saturday's first stage will be remembered for a farcical incident involving the Orica-GreenEdge team's bus, which became stuck under a gantry at the finish line, creating panic and confusion among the peloton, while Corsican Nationalists had briefly threatened to block the start of Monday's third stage in Ajaccio.

However, when the dust settles most will look back on the Corsican section of this year's Tour with fond memories, particularly of the stunning weather and scenery in the mountainous interior and along the rugged coastline.

At the end of Monday's third stage from Ajaccio to the northern resort of Calvi, arguably the toughest of the race so far, Tour Director Christian Prudhomme expressed his delight and admitted to being taken aback by the welcome received by locals on the island.

"It was a great stage and the scenery was absolutely superb," he told reporters.

"I am delighted with this Grand Depart, it has been magnificent. The people here have shown the kind of real fervor and enthusiasm which you so often see by the road on the Tour de France.

"But I have never seen so many people say 'thank you'. I even had one man kiss my hand this morning. It was incredible.

"We have felt a real sense of pride amongst the people at being able to host the Tour."

The Tour now moves to the mainland, with Tuesday's fourth stage a team time-trial around Nice.

SBS will broadcast all stages of the Tour de France live.

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