Peter Sagan claims yellow jersey with sprint win in stage two of Tour de France
Chris Froome avoids late crash to finish safely alongside main General Classification contenders
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 16/07/18 8:58am
World champion Peter Sagan claimed the yellow jersey after sprinting to victory in stage two of the Tour de France.
Sagan held off a late charge from Sonny Colbrelli to win from a reduced sprint after a big crash in the final two kilometres held up the peloton.
That crash, which saw stage one winner Fernando Gaviria hit the deck, meant there were only a handful of riders left to contest stage honours and after finishing second on Saturday, the 10 bonus seconds for winning the stage means Sagan will wear yellow during Monday's team time trial.
Team Sky, who saw Chris Froome lose 51 seconds to most of his main general classification rivals after a stage one fall, successfully dodged the crash, and will not suffer any time losses with the incident coming inside the final three kilometres.
Mark Cavendish's hopes of a 31st Tour stage win were also scuppered by the crash but the Dimension Data rider stayed upright.
The dramatic pile-up capped another nervous finale to the race, with Mitchelton-Scott's Adam Yates among those to fall in the final 35km. The Bury rider, who like Froome lost time thanks to a crash on the opening stage, quickly made his way back to the pack but with his left shoulder scuffed up.
Astana's key man Luis Leon Sanchez was not so lucky, forced to abandon after hitting the deck hard, while Romain Bardet's domestique Sebastian Dillier also fell.
Those incidents came as the speed picked up and the peloton reeled in Sylvain Chavanel, the Direct Energie rider who had been away sole since the 35km marker on the 182.5km stage from Mouilleron-Saint-Germain to La Roche-sur-Yon.
Chavanel was part of an initial three-man breakaway alongside Dion Smith, who took the day's solitary King of the Mountain point early on, and Michael Gogl, before being left on his own for around 140km.
The 39-year-old, competing in a record 18th Tour de France and his 350th stage, enjoyed his day in the spotlight, sitting up to high-five fans in the towns early in the day as the peloton was happy to let him go.
He was finally caught with 13km left, setting up an intense battle for position.
Marcel Kittel, winner of five stages in last year's Tour, saw his hopes of contesting the sprint effectively ended by a flat rear tyre with 7.5km to go, but the bigger incident was still to come.
Stage two result
1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 04:06:37
2 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
3 Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4 Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
5 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE-Team Emirates
6 Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
8 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9 John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
10 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:08
1. Peter Sagan (SVK) Bora-Hansgrohe 8:29:53
2. Fernando Gaviria (COL) Quick-Step Floors +0:00:06
3. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA) Bahrain-Merida +0:00:10
4. Marcel Kittel (GER) Katusha-Alpecin +0:00:12
5. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) Direct Energie +0:00:13
6. Philippe Gilbert (BEL) Quick-Step Floors +0:00:14
7. Geraint Thomas (GBR) Team Sky +0:00:15
8. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale same time
9. Alexander Kristoff (NOR) UAE Team Emirates +0:00:16
10. John Degenkolb (GER) (Trek-Segafredo) same time