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

Tanya Simon
July 12, 2018

Team Sky, another unusual early starter, were booed by roadside spectators throughout their effort but posted nearly identical times through the first two time checks - as did BMC Racing, who also found themselves in an unfamiliar early start time.

The red-and-white checkered cloths were created following Theodore Botrel's song first performed in April 1900, "Le mouchoir rouge de Cholet".

Greg Van Avermaet beat Geraint Thomas to the yellow jersey but Team Sky used Monday's team time trial at the Tour de France to eradicate numerous losses Chris Froome suffered on the opening day. 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.

"I don't think it is a bad thing to have the yellow jersey for a team looking for a sponsor", said Porte, who crashed out of last year's Tour and lost time in Stage 1 of this edition.

"I'm only some 20 seconds behind Froome so it's not that much".

Yates and Froome sit in 81st and 84th places respectively, 67 seconds off yellow but more concerned about the 51 second gap to the likes of Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Mikel Landa (Movistar).

"It's amusing because at the end of the day it's just another bike race".

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"I was counting down the hours until it began and the first day is one of the best of the year".

The latter's hopes of reclaiming the maillot jaune took an early hit, however, as he lost contact with the back of the Quick-Step train and the team split apart early in the stage.

Sky were second off the start ramp and set off to a mixed reception one week after the UCI announced it had closed its anti-doping investigation into Froome.

"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. They were only seven seconds back and on a similar trajectory to us so you do have to wait. Without the leak we wouldn't even know about it, but that's the nature of sport now.

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. It's still a long way to Paris but it's great to win a stage at the Tour and we will enjoy this moment.

Having won the first stage, and wearing the yellow jersey, Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) lead the peloton away from Mouilleron-Saint-Germain for the 182.5km of Stage 2 to La Roche-sur-Yon in the northwest of France. That would have been a nice bonus on top. We've been close in the past in Tour team time trials. "It just shows that we are here, too, and let's get it on". "I'm very happy with the other riders".

Dan Martin's UAE Team Emirates team, meanwhile, could only manage 15th place, one minute 39 seconds off the winning time, after key man Oliviero Troia suffered an early puncture.

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