stage 2 183KM
|17:33||Peter Sagan from rainbow to yellow|
The day after Mark Cavendish took the yellow jersey for the first time, Peter Sagan did so as well as he claimed his fifth stage victory at the Tour de France since his debuts in 2012. The peloton caught breakaway rider Jasper Stuyven 500 metres before the line at the uphill finish at Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. French sensation Julian Alaphilippe took the second place to move into the lead of the best young rider competition.
Four riders in the lead
198 riders took the start of stage 2 in Saint-Lô. Polka dot jersey holder Paul Voss and Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Argon 18), Vegard Breen (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) rode away from the gun. Stuyven passed first atop two of the three category 4 climbs of the day and thus prevented Voss from keeping the lead in the King of the Mountains competition. The leading quartet had a maximum advantage of 5.30 at km 20. Mark Cavendish's Dimension Data team maintained the deficit of the peloton around 4.30 until another crash involving Alberto Contador happened at km 60, after which the bunch slowed down. The time difference at km 69 was 6.50.
Stuyven caught with 500 metres to go
The leading quartet forged on. Their advantage was still five minutes with 40km to go. 25km before the end, Benedetti couldn't hold the pace anymore while top teams Astana, BMC and Tinkoff were strongly involved in the chase behind Voss, Breen and Stuyven. The leading trio enjoyed more than two minutes of an advantage with 10km to go. Stuyven rode away solo 8.5km before the line and was awarded the most aggressive rider price of the day. He also claimed the polka dot jersey as he passed the côte de la Glacerie alone at the front with 1.5km to go. The Belgian from Trek-Segafredo eventually got caught 500 metres before the line. Peter Sagan timed his sprint at perfection to fend off Tour of California winner Julian Alaphilippe who came second as he already did behind Alejandro Valverde at the Flèche wallonne those past two years. This time, the Spanish veteran was behind the up and coming Frenchman. Sagan last won a stage at the Tour de France in 2013. He's the first reigning world champion to win a stage since Cavendish in 2012.
|18:54||Jasper Stuyven: «I felt empty in the steep part of the climb»|
“My main feeling is disappointment. In the breakaway, I knew I'd be the fastest if we were to arrive for the victory. I could keep a good pace in the first part of the climb but I felt empty in the steep part. It's a good thing I have at least the polka dot jersey even though I'm not really a climber. It's a nice jersey to have but my legs will hurt tomorrow.”
|18:51||Contador: "I'm not happy at all"|
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) again crashed after 60 km in stage 2 and was dejected on the finish line.
"I lost more time than I had hoped to lose. I suffered another crash, I hit the handlebars and I was hurt on the other side from yesterday. I must stay calm, not lose morale, I'm still standing but I have been really touched. The Tour has really started on the wrong footing. I'm not happy at all. It's cycling. I must see if I can make up some time in the Pyrenees and the Alps, see what I can do.""I'm physically hampered. I cannot pedal as I would last as the result of crashes. The important thing is to keep my morale, not fall part, which is sometimes complicated. Both legs are very touched."
|18:51||Julian Alaphilippe: «I've been told I should be happy»|
“Today I got my first emotion at the Tour de France but it's also a small disappointment because I've been so close to winning. It's a feeling of frustration. I've been told I should be happy and it's probably true because Peter Sagan is a big champion. This is my first Tour. I still have a lot to learn. To have the white jersey is good for my morale and for my team. I'm here to discover what the Tour is like. I'm also here to help my team the maximum I can. We'll ride full gas every day.”