Sagan takes Tour de France stage two with Dan Martin fourth

Wins maiden yellow jersey after pipping Alaphilippe on steep finish in Cherbour

Peter Sagan won the yellow jersey for the first time in the second stage of the Tour de France. Photograph: Reuters

Peter Sagan won the yellow jersey for the first time in the second stage of the Tour de France. Photograph: Reuters

 

World champion Peter Sagan claimed victory on stage two of the Tour de France to take the yellow jersey off the shoulders of Mark Cavendish, while Chris Froome gained significant time on some key rivals and Ireland’s Dan Martin earned himself a fourth place finish.

Tinkoff rider Sagan beat Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickStep) in an uphill sprint to the finish in Cherbourg to collect his fifth Tour stage win — and first since 2013.

While he moves into yellow, Froome’s 10th place on the day leaves the Team Sky man in fifth place overall, 14 seconds off yellow.

Even better for the defending champion is the news that two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) — who crashed for a second day running — lost 48 seconds to Froome while BMC’s Richie Porte lost one minute 45 seconds after a puncture five kilometres from home ruined his day — and most likely his Tour.

Froome’s team-mate Geraint Thomas also lost time, and is now 38 seconds off yellow, 24 seconds down on Froome.

Cavendish’s day in yellow ended with him finishing one minute 49 seconds behind Sagan.

Like Cavendish on Saturday, Sagan is in yellow for the first time in his career.

The Slovakian, winner of the points leader’s green jersey in each of the last four Tours, has an unwanted reputation for finishing second in Tour stages — with a remarkable 16 second-placed finishes to his name including five last year, when he did not win a stage.

But the uphill finish to this 183km run from Saint Lo was perfectly suited to the 26-year-old’s talents and he made it count.

Until the final kilometre, it looked as though Trek-Segafredo’s Jasper Stuyven would solo to victory, having attacked out of the break on the first of the three short, sharp climbs at the end of the 183km stage from Saint Lo to Cherbourg.

But he slowed on the last of them, the Cote de la Glacerie where gradients touched 14 per cent, and he was caught with the finish line in sight.

Contador, who suffered a nasty-looking shoulder injury on Saturday, crashed for the second time in as many days when he hit the deck 60km into the stage, with Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) and Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) caught in the same incident. Barguil recovered to record the same time as Froome.

Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde was third on the day, and sits 10 seconds down on general classification. Pre-race favourites Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and Fabio Aru (Astana) are on the same time as Froome.

Leading final positions after Stage 2 (Saint-Lo — Cherbourg-Octeville 182km): 1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff Team 4hrs 02mins 51secs, 2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx — Quick-Step, 3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team, 4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx — Quick-Step, 5 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange, 6 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo, 7 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal, 8 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team, 9 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, 10 Christopher Froome (Gbr) Team Sky

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