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BMC take team time trial stage but Froome makes gains

12 July, 2018, 23:09 | Author: Candice Daniels
  • Chris Froome didn't get an entirely warm welcome. Some of the fans in Vendee were heard booing the defending champ

Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) has taken the victory at the second stage of the Tour de France.

"It was really a hard sprint, " Sagan said.

On the 2018 Tour de France both flat and hilly stages will have an intermediate sprint worth 20pts to 1pt for the first 15 across the line while the finishes will be worth 50pts to 2pts for the first 15 home.

The Slovak cyclist has a six-second lead ahead of Gaviria and is another four seconds ahead of Colbrelli in the general classification. With Colbrelli about to catch him, Sagan thrust forward to ensure victory.

"It was a mess over those last five kilometres all up and down and then going up the hill there was a headwind", he said.

While Sunday's stage looks as innocent on paper as Saturday's did before the start, it promises instead to ratchet up the heat in the high-octane war for the green sprint points jersey.

"You just feel so much more aware of the dangers when you're a parent", White said this week.

The world champion profited from a mass crash that also involved victor of stage one Colombian Fernando Gaviria and another favourite Michael Matthews some two kilometres before the finish.

Fans came out in large numbers for the 105th edition of cycling's biggest race, standing along almost every stretch of the route and waving the red and white flags of the Vendee region.

It will be van Avermaet's second stint in yellow after three days in the maillot jaune during the 2016 Tour de France.

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Froome, who fell into a ditch near the end of Saturday's opening stage, arrived safely with most of the peloton.

Team Sky, another unusual early starter, were booed by roadside spectators throughout their effort but posted nearly identical times through the first two time checks - as did BMC Racing, who also found themselves in an unfamiliar early start time.

Mitchelton-Scott were nine seconds adrift of BMC, while world team time trial champions Team Sunweb were another two seconds slower in fifth. The 22.1-mile loop starts and finishes in Cholet.

Froome was left 55 seconds behind in the overall standings with another week of nervy rolling stages before hitting the Alps.

Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and François Thomazeau discuss the stage and Peter Sagan's first Tour stage win since his disqualification from last year's race.

Australian Richie Porte, who had also lost 51 seconds in the first stage after being delayed behind a pile-up, benefited from his BMC team's performance to move up to 14th, four seconds ahead of Froome.

After the first stage that hugged the Atlantic coast, the race rolled inland through green pastures, forest groves, and yellow wheat fields baked by the summer sun.

However, cycling's governing body and WADA ruled it "does not constitute an AAF (adverse analytical finding)", meaning the 33-year-old will keep his Vuelta title plus his maglia rose from the Giro d'Italia in June. He was absorbed by the peloton with eight miles left.

"My team got me into the mix", he said. Tsgabu Grmay of Ethiopia also retired.

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