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Tour de France Stage 2: Chavanel takes yellow as peloton protests conditions

Disastrous day for Saxo Bank as big crashes spoil the day's racing

Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel of Belgian team Quick Step claimed the yellow jersey in Stage 2 of the Tour de France this afternoon in Spa, showing himself to be the strongest survivor of an eight-man breakaway, as once again a series of crashes caused chaos in the peloton.

Some of the biggest names  in the race hit the tarmac on a slippery descent of the Col de Stockeu including both the Schleck brothers and Lance Armstrong as well as Christian Vande Velde and green jersey Alessandro Petacchi, while Alberto Contador was also held up amid the confusion.

With the main group not contesting the sprint as they headed towards the line shortly after Chavanel, it was clear that the riders weren’t happy with the conditions that have seen the opening two road stages of this year’s Tour marred by chutes.

Whereas yesterday the crashes were caused by massive crowds sometimes spilling onto the road and jostling for position as the final sprint approached, today it was wet roads as the peloton headed through the Ardennes that did the damage.

The chutes caused some big gaps to open up on the road, with a group containing Contador and Armstrong struggling to bridge the gap back to that containing yellow jersey Fabian Cancellara, which they did with some 15km to go.

Behind them, Team Saxo Bank siblings, Fränk and Andy Schleck, both of whom also crashed on slippery roads during a descent, appeared to have suffered a big blow to their general classification chances, with the pair having to fight hard to rejoin the other main contenders.

However, helped back by a sterling effort by Jens Voigt and with Cancellara, also of Team Saxo Bank, of course, apparently following consultation with white jersey wearer Tony Martin of HTC Columbia helping slow the pace down at the front of the bunch, the Luxembourg pair got themselves back into the main group, although the effort of doing so may well have consequences tomorrow.

Top 20 Tour de France Stage 2

1.  CHAVANEL Sylvain        QUICK STEP             4h 40' 48"
2.  BOUET Maxime            AG2R LA MONDIALE        + 03' 56"
3.  WEGMANN Fabian          TEAM MILRAM             + 03' 56"
4.  McEWEN Robbie           KATUSHA TEAM            + 03' 56"
5.  KNEES Christian         TEAM MILRAM             + 03' 56"
6.  ROELANDTS Jürgen        OMEGA PHARMA-LOTTO      + 03' 56"
7.  HUSHOVD Thor            CERVELO TEST TEAM       + 03' 56"
8.  GERDEMANN Linus         TEAM MILRAM             + 03' 56"
9.  LADAGNOUS Matthieu      FDJ                     + 03' 56"
10. EISEL Bernhard          TEAM HTC-COLUMBIA       + 03' 56"
12. CANCELLARA Fabian       TEAM SAXO BANK          + 03' 56"
13. KROON Karsten           BMC RACING TEAM         + 03' 56"
14. VAN SUMMEREN Johan      GARMIN-TRANSITIONS      + 03' 56"
15. ROJAS Jose Joaquin      CAISSE D’EPARGNE        + 03' 56"
16. PAUWELS Serge           SKY PRO CYCLING         + 03' 56"
17. HUNT Jérémy             CERVELO TEST TEAM       + 03' 56"
18. VANDENBERGH Styn        KATUSHA TEAM            + 03' 56"

General Classification after Stage 2

1.   CHAVANEL Sylvain       QUICK STEP             10h 01' 25"
2.   CANCELLARA Fabian      TEAM SAXO BANK           + 02' 57"
3.   MARTIN Tony            TEAM HTC-COLUMBIA        + 03' 07"
4.   MILLAR David           GARMIN-TRANSITIONS       + 03' 17"
5.   ARMSTRONG Lance        TEAM RADIOSHACK          + 03' 19"
6.   THOMAS Geraint         SKY PRO CYCLING          + 03' 20"
7.   CONTADOR Alberto       ASTANA                   + 03' 24"
8.   LEIPHEIMER Levi        TEAM RADIOSHACK          + 03' 25"
9.   BOASSON HAGEN Edvald   SKY PRO CYCLING          + 03' 29"
10.  GERDEMANN Linus        TEAM MILRAM              + 03' 32"
11.  BOOKWALTER Brent       BMC RACING TEAM          + 03' 32"
12.  BRAJKOVIC Janez        TEAM RADIOSHACK          + 03' 32"
13.  ROGERS Michael         TEAM HTC - COLUMBIA      + 03' 32"
14.  PLAZA MOLINA Ruben     CAISSE D’EPARGNE         + 03' 33"
15.  KLÖDEN Andréas         TEAM RADIOSHACK          + 03' 33"
16.  VINOKOUROV Alexandre   ASTANA                   + 03' 35"
17.  KREUZIGER Roman        LIQUIGAS-DOIM+             03' 35"
18.  SANCHEZ Luis-Leon      CAISSE D’EPARGN+           03' 36"
19. EVANS Cadel BMC RACING TEAM + 03' 36"
20. GRIVKO Andriy ASTANA + 03' 37"


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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dave atkinson | 13 years ago

This from Garmin-Transitions this evening: "Today was a massively rough day for the peloton and especially our team. Weather and roads obviously played a huge factor. We had five riders crash, including Julian Dean, Tyler Farrar and Christian Vande Velde. All three are en-route to a local hospital where they will be evaluated. David Millar and Robbie Hunter also crashed. They are being evaluated by team medical staff. David Zabriskie, Johan Van Summeren, Martijn Maaskant and Ryder Hesjedal remained upright. All riders on the team finished the race which demonstrates both courage and commitment. Tomorrow is a new day and we will update when we have further information."

antonio | 13 years ago

Would the peloton have sat up if Chavanel had been a serious overall contender?

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