A guide to the Tour de France
3rd July 2016
Peter Sagan won Stage 2 today, as expected, given the punchy climb at the end. With the time bonus on the line, Sagan also takes the yellow jersey.
The second stage of the 2016 Tour de France from Saint-Lô to Cherbourg was contested in an uphill sprint with a relatively select group battling for the win. Sagan hit the front too early, and allowed Julian Alaphilippe to come past; Sagan then took the Frenchman's wheel, and fought past him again to cross the line first.
Alaphilippe was second, banging his handlebars in frustration at being out-manoeuvred by Sagan; Alejandro Valverde was third, and Dan Martin fourth. Chris Froome came tenth, in the same time as the stage winner.
Other favourites in the top ten were Wilco Kelderman (6th), Tony Gallopin (7th), and Bauke Mollema (9th). Also in the leading group, in the same time as the stage winner, were Adam Yates (13th), Warren Barguil (14th), Fabio Aru (16th), Nairo Quintana (17th), Tejay Van Garderen (19th), Romain Bardet (24th), and Tom Dumoulin (25th). However, Thibaut Pinot and Vincenzo Nibali both lost 11s.
The race sparked to life on the Côte d'Octeville (uncategorised) about 8km from the finish. Jasper Stuyven (Trek) dropped his two remaining breakaway companions, and made an attempt to time trial to the finish. Stuyven had an advantage of 1min15 as he hit the final climb, the Côte de la Glacerie, and he made it to the top of the climb before he was caught. However, the finish line was a further 1.5km after the climb, and Stuyven was swallowed up by the front of the bunch.
This is the highlights video of Stage 2:
Amongst the Sky riders losing time were Geraint Thomas (24s) and Wout Poels (1min45). On the other hand, Mikel Landa lost no time, in 21st place.
Alberto Contador was clearly suffering from the injuries sustained in a fall yesterday, and couldn't stay at the front. He lost 48 seconds.
Mark Cavendish would not have expected to win on today's uphill finish, and will be happy with his one day in yellow. He was 1min45 behind the winner.
Richie Porte was unlucky to get a puncture a few kilometres from the end, and he was unable to make it back to the bunch, crossing the line with Poels and Cavendish, 1min45 after Sagan. That will be a big blow to his GC hopes.
Earlier, there was a four-man breakaway with Paul Voss and Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Argon), Vegard Breen (Fortuneo), and Jasper Stuyven. Voss was in the polka-dot jersey, having taken the two King of the Mountains points on offer yesterday, but was unable to take any more today; Breen won the first Category 4 climb, and Stuyven the next two. When Stuyven also took the final climb, la Côte de la Glacerie, he took the lead in the mountains competition.
CyclingNews has the full race results and overall standings.
The 2016 Tour de France begins at Mont St Michel, in the Manche département of France. It tackles the Pyrenees before the Alps, and as always there's a final processional stage to Paris.
Stage 3 starts in Granville, and heads east to Villedieu-les-Poêles. In a test of my keyboard skills, it then turns south on the D999 to another town which has a funny accent over the 'e', Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët. After Louvigné-du-Désert, it goes through Fougères, then Vitré and Argentré-du-Plessis. It'll give a nod to former Tour de France riders by passing through Ballots and Renazé, then continue to Segré. The approach to Angers is via la Pouëze, St-Clément-de-la-Place, and la Meignanne, and the stage is likely to finish with a bunch sprint to the line in front of the Town Hall in Angers. Read about Stage 3, Tour de France 2016.
© 2016 SpeedyHedgehog
Template design by Andreas Viklund