Whereas yesterday’s Tour stage promised serenity but delivered chaos, lightning couldn’t strike twice, could it? No. Stage 2 of the Tour de France saw Sylvain Chavanel take the applause, a nervy peloton continue to crash and Peter Sagan continues to be in a class all his own.
It wasn’t a stage that will live long in the memory unless you’re part of Sylvain Chavanel’s family. The Frenchman, riding for Direct Energie, had a long solo break, a virtual lap of honour in his team’s home region to celebrate his long career and his final Tour de France. He attracted the cheers of the roadside fans while showing Thomas de Gendt he might just get a run for his money for the Tour’s most combative award in Paris.
A crash with two kilometres to go took out Fernando Gaviria (Quick Step) and led to a very reduced sprint, which was won by Peter Sagan (Bora). It’s a win that puts the world champion in the maillot jaune tomorrow. Only it’ll be a skinsuit. Nice.Embed from Getty Images
Rider of the race
Lining up to start this morning was EF’s number 13, Lawson Craddock. Battered, bruised, stitched up and taped up after yesterday’s crash, the Texan wasn’t feeling sorry for himself and was determined to keep going. He had bigger things in mind.
So, off he went, all smiles…. and tape…. and a black eye… If that smile isn’t worth a donation to his cause, however small, what is? Craddock finished the stage plumb last. The important thing is he finished.
What else happened?
Crashes galore French road furniture takes no prisoners. Rudy Molard (FDJ), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Silvan Dillier (AG2R) all hit le deck today, yet all managed to get back on. Astana’s Luis León Sánchez wasn’t so lucky. An innocuous-looking tumble caused him a lot of pain and distress and in the ambulance he went. Subsequently, it was announced he suffered four broken ribs (four!!) and a fractured elbow.
When the dream dies Another team down to 7 riders is Trek-Segafredo. It’s sad when any rider has to leave the race but a look at Tsgabu’s tweet afterwards (and his Twitter profile) shows how bad this one must feel.
Keep it classy, Kittel – I’ve got to say going all green when you’re third – yes that’s right THIRD – in the points competition is not a good look, Marcel. [I keep saying to people – he’s wearing a skinsuit for the sprint!!!! Leave him alone! – Ed] A puncture with over 7km to go meant this green monstrosity wasn’t involved in the final sprint.
1 Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) 4:06:37
2 Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) same time
3 Arnaud Démare (FDJ) s/t
4 Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) s/t
5 Alexander Kristoff (UAE) s/t
GC Top 10
1 Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) 8:29:53
2 Fernando Gaviria (Quick Step) +0.06
3 Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) +0.10
4 Marcel Kittel (Katusha) +0.12
5 Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) +0.13
6 Philippe Gilbert (Quick Step) +0.14
7 Geraint Thomas (Sky) +0.15
8 Oliver Naesen (AG2r) same time
9 Alexander Kristoff (UAE) +0.16
10 John Degenkolb (Trek) same time
All the jerseysEmbed from Getty Images
Leader’s jersey: Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)
Points jersey: Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)
KOM jersey: Dion Smith (Wanty)
Best young rider: Fernando Gaviria (QuickStep Floors)
Most combative: Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie)
Listen to Stage 2’s VeloVoices Tour in 5 podcast now on any podcast browser, even Spotify! and remember, you can get involved too!
Header picture: ©GETTY/Velo/Tim de Waele