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

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

What had once been viewed as an opportunity to make time had become a chance to gain it back after Froome's excursion into a field on Saturday cost him 51 seconds on his main rivals.

"This isn't the first time I've been a minute down or had to dig in, it's just racing, that's what we're here for", he said at the starting line. "We gave it everything we had and it all went pretty much to plan".

"It's a dream. We rode a good time trial and the whole team worked hard", said Van Avermaet.

Lawson Craddock, one of five Americans in the race, crashed in a feeding zone midway through the stage and continued with blood streaming down his face.

The event returned for the first time since 2015, and time trial specialists BMC took full advantage as they set a time of 38 minutes, 46 seconds on the 35.5-kilometre course that started and ended in the town of Cholet in the Pays de la Loire region of France.

Froome, fellow Briton Adam Yates and Australian Richie Porte, all pre-Tour favourites, all lost valuable seconds having been caught in a series of falls and flat tyres over the final 10km of the 201km opening stage. "I love France and the Tour, which is the most lovely race on the planet".

"It's about what I expected, we thought we'd lose a bit to Froome and we lost a bit to Froome", said the dry-witted Quintana.

"This is one stage where you have to push to the limit more than ever, but if you misgauge your effort you pay for it massively. That's the nature of the game".

More news: Cardi B announces birth of daughter on Instagram
More news: Croatian players send photographer sprawling amid wild World Cup winning goal celebrations
More news: Zsa Zsa, the world's ugliest dog, dies

The Solvakian's Bora Hansgrohe team finished in seventh spot, 50 seconds down on the stage winners, but he will wear the green jersey on stage four. Obviously this is an incredibly important race, but it's you guys who put the pressure on us!

Vincenzo Nibali's Bahrain-Merida squad were 11th on the day, giving up 62 seconds to Sky, while Romain Bardet's AG2R La Mondiale team finished 12th, 71 seconds off Sky's time.

A leaked dope test signalling too much salbutamol last September - but which anti-doping authorities WADA dismissed - has made Froome a target as he and Team Sky in their white team shirts progress along the 21-day course.

"Fernando won yesterday and now I'm the one with the yellow jersey", it's been exciting.

Froome however was roundly booed on his first meeting with the French public on Thursday when Sky took the stage for the official teams presntation here, and during a 1km jaunt around the small town of La Roche-sur-Yon.

"Obviously it was a tough one today but the big strong guys did a great job and it was a ideal team time trial", Porte told Cycling.com. That would have been a nice bonus on top. "We were close but not quite quick enough".

Mark Cavendish's hopes of a 31st career Tour stage win were also scuppered by the incident but the Dimension Data rider stayed upright. He was also part of the team that won the team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico.

Related Articles

  • Wimbledon to remain football-free zone despite World Cup fever

    Wimbledon to remain football-free zone despite World Cup fever

    Football fever hasn't bristled the grass courts at Wimbledon despite England reaching the semi-finals of the Fifa World Cup for the first time since 1990.

    England nowhere near their potential, says manager Gareth Southgate

    England are Croatia's opponents in the final four of the tournament as they bid to reach their first final. We can feel the energy and the support from home and it's a very special feeling for us".
    Joaquin Phoenix to play the Joker in new 'gritty' DC origins movie

    Joaquin Phoenix to play the Joker in new 'gritty' DC origins movie

    Jared Leto , however, will be reprising his role as The Joker in the sequel for Suicide Squad and a movie on The Joker and Harley Quinn.
  • Lovren ready for Kane test at World Cup

    Lovren ready for Kane test at World Cup

    Croatia will likely control possession but that plays into England's hands. "That's right, I'm picking England to win another penalty shoot-out".
    Sacha Baron Cohen in Talks for New Comedy Interview Series

    Sacha Baron Cohen in Talks for New Comedy Interview Series

    Actor-comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has posted a teaser for a new project that appears to take on US President Donald Trump . Here is what President Trump said about Sacha Baron Cohen in his video that was used in Cohen's announcement.
    Trumps former chauffeur sues for unpaid wages

    Trumps former chauffeur sues for unpaid wages

    Hutcher said that Cintron had repeatedly asked Trump for raises in the past, but - beyond those two instances - he was rebuffed. In a statement to Business Insider, a Trump Organization spokesperson said that the lawsuit was frivolous, as Mr.
  • Erik Jones wins at Daytona in final lap

    Erik Jones wins at Daytona in final lap

    Elliott, who sprained his right ankle earlier this week "horsing around in the pool", had won two poles at the Daytona 500. Chevrolet extended its winless streak to 18 races, its longest since a 31-race drought in 1981-82.
    Croatia beats England 2-1 in extra time

    Croatia beats England 2-1 in extra time

    Croatia started to enjoy their best period of the match, dictating play and controlling possession. But Southgate thinks talk of that handing a physical advantage to England is being overplayed.
    Riyad Mahrez Completes Dream Move To Manchester City

    Riyad Mahrez Completes Dream Move To Manchester City

    Pep is committed to playing attacking football, which is flawless for me, and City's performances last season were outstanding. The Algerian worldwide scored 48 times (39 in league competition) in his 179 appearances with the Foxes.
  • YouTube announces new features to improve its news experience

    YouTube announces new features to improve its news experience

    Among the many changes YouTube announced Monday are substantive tweaks to the tools it uses to recommend news-related videos. Earlier in the YouTube address received lots of comments, in which users complained about disinformationist many videos .
    Lip gloss boss: Kylie Jenner to be youngest self-made billionaire in history

    Lip gloss boss: Kylie Jenner to be youngest self-made billionaire in history

    One more year of growth in Kylie Cosmetics and her other ventures will make her the youngest self made billionaire ever. The young mum credits social media for her success, as she told Forbes: 'Social media is an awesome platform.
    Cardi B Countersues Former Manager Shaft for $15 Million

    Cardi B Countersues Former Manager Shaft for $15 Million

    This apparently included her relationships as she claims Shaft would tell her "who she should and should not see romantically". Cardi B is now one of the hottest hip-hop artists with the success of her smash hit "Bodak Yellow" past year .