Both Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing Team) and Dan Martin (QuickStep Floors) finished in the main bunch on stage two of the Tour de France on Sunday, crossing the line in the same time as the stage winner, Martin's teammate Marcel Kittel.
A bunch sprint was always on the cards and so staying out of trouble was the main goal for the two riders, particularly as Roche had hit the deck in the stage one time trial.
That crash on Saturday had seen Roche finish back in 122nd place, while Martin had a solid ride in placing 57th.
The latter advanced five places in the general classification after stage two, going from 57th to 52nd overall. He is 49 seconds behind the race leader Geraint Thomas (Team Sky). Roche also advances after that lost time, going from 122nd to 111th. He is one minute and 14 seconds off the yellow jersey.
Monday’s stage is the first opportunity for Martin to go for a high stage result. The race to Longwy ends with an uphill of over one kilometre in length, which he believes might suit him. However he told the Irish Times that as that ramp is relatively short, it is possible that some of the sprinters might be able to hold on and contest the win.
If that’s the case, he will have a better chance on Wednesday’s fifth stage to the summit of La Planche des Belles Filles.