• Cancellara: happy to take yellow on day two of the Tour de France (Getty Images) (AFP)Source: AFP
While the rain and wind caused carnage on the Stage Two of the Tour de France, Fabian Cancellara made his own luck, finishing the stage in third place and taking hold of the maillot jaune.
Cycling Central

6 Jul 2015 - 6:52 AM  UPDATED 6 Jul 2015 - 9:08 AM

A four second time bonus for third place was enough to secure the popular Trek Factory Racing rider the coveted leader's jersey, which he will wear for the 29th day in his career.   

The first week in the Tour de France is always a stressful affair, but the added wind and wet roads in last nght's 166km flat stage, which began in Utrecht and ended in Zélande, saw a particularly nervous and jittery peloton. When the hammer fell with some 60 kilometers still to race the peloton exploded.

Greipel and Cancellara take the spoils on wild Tour stage
The second stage of the Tour de France exceeded expectations to produce damaging losses for two favourites and a new rider in yellow.

“I was coming to the Tour to win and get the yellow yesterday and I didn’t win yesterday,” said
Cancellara. “But I made a nice sprint and I got third and the yellow and that is really a success.”

But the win didn’t come easily. “I had cramps at the end, it was so fast and nervous, but finally some luck,” he said. “I had so much problems out of the corners, out of the roundabouts, the problem was from yesterday, I paid a lot, I mean everyone probably did, from yesterday’s effort."

In a day that saw so many additional challenges out on the course, it was clear that even the stage winner didn't understand the full impact of what was going on elsewhere in the race. “I am not sure what happened, if it was a crash or just a split, because the guys from Lotto-Soudal went full gas.

"We went through this small city and there were a lot of roundabouts and with the rain and wind…it was not easy and I was just there and suddenly the group split up. I hoped for sure at the end to get something out and now of course with the yellow I am really happy.”

Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) led out the sprint while Cancellara patiently waited behind Peter Sagan’s (Tinkoff-Saxo) wheel. It played out perfectly for Cancellara as Cavendish faded in the final metres and Cancellara was able to come around for third place, and the precious bonus seconds, behind winner André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and Sagan who calimed second.

“I did not have it in my mind to beat anyone, just on the yellow [jersey]” said Cancellara. “I was just behind Peter [Sagan] and I was waiting and waiting, and then all of a sudden they were going! But it was so long to the finish still. I just tried to get as close to the front as possible to maybe have a gap with Tony [Martin].

“Honestly I was not expecting the yellow today, maybe in the next days, and the big chance on the cobblestone stage. Today, I thought it was more for the sprinters," said Cancellara.

Trek Factory Racing heads into tonight's third stage with the primary goal of defending the yellow jersey. The finish is at the top of the infamous Mur de Huy, a climb that Cancellara has never tackled.

The Classics specialists in the team will be ready.  Bob Jungels, Laurent Didier, Julian Arredondo and Bauke Mollema know the Mur de Huy well, and the others have enough combined experience in the cobbled Classics to rally around Spartacus with the aim of keeping the maillot jaune in the team for another day.

The SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker is the ultimate TDF app experience
This year’s Tour de France on SBS will offer you more than ever before with exclusive live start to finish coverage of every stage through the SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker.