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Cycling | SA Cycling

No sprint chance for Cavendish on stage 2

A crash marred sprint at La Roche-sur-Yon prevented Team Dimension Data's Mark Cavendish from launching a challenge on stage two of the Tour de France on Sunday.

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the second stage and in doing so pulled on the overall race leaders yellow jersey too.

Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) finished in second place and Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) was third.

It was another sprinters day at the Tour de France as the peloton took on the 182km stage to La Roche-sur-Yon.

Initially three riders formed the break of the day, but after the single King of the Mountains point was taken, only Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) carried on up the road alone.

The peloton gave the Frenchman a lead of just over four minutes, with Quickstep-Floors controlling proceedings.

It was a rather calm stage up until the intermediate sprint which came with 50km to go. From thereon, it was a nervy bunch that approached the inevitable sprint finale.

Team Dimension Data For Qhubeka put Jay Thomson forward to ensure Chavanel was caught with 20km to go and then it was up to the rest of our team to position Cavendish through the technical run-in to the line.

Team Sky took command of the final 5km, keeping their GC riders safe before Bora-Hansgrohe and Quickstep-Floors took over for the sprint leadout.

The African team battled to get our sprint train going at full tilt, resulting in Cavendish being too far back when the race reached a critical right-hand corner with 2km to go.

It was in that corner where a crash in the first 20 places put an end to most riders stage hopes, including Saturday's victor, Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep-Floors) as well as Cavendish.

None of DiData's riders went down in the crash but unfortunately it was a missed chance at Sunday's stage of the Tour de France for the African Team.

"It was pretty hectic again today, but that's the Tour for you. The only good thing today was that we all stayed on our bikes and we are able to fight again another day. Tomorrow we will have the team time trial but hopefully we can do better with our next sprint opportunity," Edvald Boasson Hagen said after the race.


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