"This morning I just thought I'd try to go a good race, that's what I always think before line up at the start," Sky Sports News quotes the German as saying. "I was just trying to do my best and now we've got the yellow jersey. This is absolutely awesome and I really cannot believe it.
"There was a big fight for the stage win, of course - as we knew that the winner would also have yellow - and everyone tried to stay in front so there was a lot of chaos but I'm very happy that my team worked so well to keep me out of trouble and keep me in a good position and to keep me safe."
The second stage of the race will see the riders travel 156km from Bastia to Ajaccio.