Slovakia's Peter Sagan won today's first stage of the Tour de France, the 198-kilometres from Liege to Seraing, in a sprint finish as Fabian Cancellara retained the yellow jersey.

Cancellara attacked a third of the way up the final 2.4km ascent to the finish and it seemed only Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) could go with him.

Dan Martin finished in eighth and Nicolas Roche in 18th, and are now in 24th and 25th positions overall.

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) bridged the gap and the trio were clear with 500m to go, but Sagan powered away to claim a first Tour stage win of his career.

Cancellara was second with Boasson Hagen of Norway third and Belgium's Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) fourth.

Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins was second overnight behind Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) and negotiated the final climb well to finish alongside defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) on the same time as Sagan.

Evans moved up from 13th to eighth overall, but remained 17 seconds behind Cancellara and 10 behind Wiggins.