Sagan wins Stage 2 of Tour de France to take early lead

Lawrence Kim
July 9, 2018

BMC proved the class of the field though, completing the 35.5km circuit around Cholet in a time of 38 minutes 46 seconds, four seconds ahead of Sky, to put Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet in yellow.

Team Sky (38:50) were second fastest to help four-time victor Froome climb the standings, with Quick-Step Floors another three seconds adrift in third.

The result means that Froome, Porte and Yates were all able to take a chunk of time back after each losing 51 seconds in the dramatic end to stage one on Saturday.

Movistar could only manage 10th place on the day, 50 seconds off Sky's pace, which meant Froome is nearly back on level terms with Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde while Nairo Quintana drops even further back after his opening day woes.

Among the big losers today were Nairo Quintana, whose Movistar team came home 53 seconds down on BMC Racing, Bahrain-Merida with 2014 Tour de France victor Vincenzo Nibali, 1 minute and 6 seconds down, and Romain Bardet's AG2R-La Mondiale, who came home 1 minute 15 seconds behind the day's victor.

In a race that could be decided by a matter of seconds, the time loss is a big early setback for Team Sky leader Froome, in the race after being cleared of any wrongdoing following a urine test that showed he had an excessive level of a banned asthma medication in last year's Tour of Spain.

"It's a flawless day, I was a bit scared because Sonny was coming back strong", said Sagan, who also wore the yellow jersey in 2016. You can never tell who is going to be on a good day or not, but all in all it worked out well for us.

Spectators watch as the pack passes along the west coast during the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 201 kilometers (124.9 miles) with start in Noirmoutier-en-L'Ile and finish in Fontenay Le-Comte, France, Saturday, July 7, 2018. We'll take it day by day. But as I say, that's bike racing.

Movistar's Nairo Quintana - who has finished second twice and third once behind Froome in the past five years - lost more time as his team finished 53 seconds off the pace.

'One day you gain, one day you lose.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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