French cyclist Jimmy Casper has won the first stage of the Tour de France, but American rider George Hincapie took the overall race lead.

Casper beat out Australia's Robbie McEwen and German veteran Erik Zabel in the finishing sprint of Sunday's 184.5 - kilometer stage, which started and ended in Strasbourg. All three men, along with most of the riders in the trailing pack, were credited with a time of 4:10 flat.

Norwegian rider Thor Hushovd had been the overall leader going into the first stage after winning Saturday's prologue time trial. But Hincapie picked up bonus time on a sprint section in Sunday's ride to grab a two-second lead and his first leader's yellow jersey. American David Zabriske is four seconds behind Hushovd and in third place overall.

Thor Hushovd sliced open his right arm and bled profusely going through the barriers that line the route in the final sprint. A Tour doctor says Hushovd may need stitches, but is expected to continue the race.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.