Day 2 of the Tour de France took off in York today finishing off 201km away in Sheffield. Vincenzo Nibali took the win at 5 hours 8 minutes and 36 seconds followed by Greg van Avermaet (Bel/BMC Racing) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) in a bunch 2 seconds later. Marcel Kittle lost the Yellow Jersey to Nibali finishing 20 minutes behind.
British Mark Cavendish was officially ruled out of the race before the start of today’s race due to his crash yesterday. “I’m absolutely devastated,” said Cavendish and adding that he may require surgery.
It is estimated that more than 2.5 million spectators watched the race from the roadsides lining York and Sheffield. Holme Moss, the longest and toughest of this stage’s ascends, was lined with over 60,000 fans. Five of this stage’s climbs were in the last 60km of the race with Jenkin’s Road being the hardest at a 33% gradient stretching 800 meters.
The current top 5 standing after Stage 2 is as follows:
- Vincenzo Nibali (Kazakhstan)
- Peter Sagan (Italy)
- Greg Van Avermaet (US)
- Michael Albasini (Australia)
- Christopher Froome (Great Britain)
Tomorrow the peloton will race 155km from Cambridge to Londres. Where the longest climb today was about 20km and 521m at the highest point, Monday’s race will give the riders a bit of a break as the route peaks at 108m at Epping Forest. From Cambridge, the peloton will climb 88m and a 20km distance to Saffron Walden. After that the slopes vary very little till around the 75km mark before Moreton and then it’s a push up to Epping Forest. Looks like a good time for Sagan and maybe even Froome to snip off crucial time to take Nibali off the Yellow Jersey.