• Peter Sagan pips Sonny Colbrelli. (Getty)Source: Getty
A crash-marred finish was conquered by world champion Peter Sagan, who made the most of the opportunity sprinting to his ninth Tour de France stage win from a small group.
By
Cycling Central

9 Jul 2018 - 1:52 AM  UPDATED 9 Jul 2018 - 12:58 PM

The sprinters again came out to play on the Tour de France with Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) claiming the 185.1km second stage from Mouilleron-Saint-Germain to La Roche-sur-Yon.

Sagan finished ahead of Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) after a late crash split the peloton, leaving a small group to fight for the win.

"I expected the last few kilometres to be a bit easier," said Sagan, "but it was really tough – up and down, left and right, before climbing again.

"I think starting the sprint later was better for me today Démare started with Degenkolb and I overtook them but I was really lucky Colbrelli didn’t get the jump on me. 

With the win, Sagan took the overall race lead and amassed a full basket of points in his effort to win a sixth Green Jersey. The three-time world champion showed his intent early after winning the bunch sprint for the intermediate sprint ahead of his main rival Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors). 

"I’m very happy to take the Yellow Jersey today," said Sagan. "Both for me and for my team – it’s the first Yellow Jersey for the BORA-hansgrohe team and I wouldn’t be wearing it if it weren’t for them."

Tour Leaders
Mathieu VAN DER POEL
Mathieu
VAN DER POEL
Julian ALAPHILIPPE
Julian
ALAPHILIPPE
Mathieu VAN DER POEL
Mathieu
VAN DER POEL
Tadej POGAČAR
Tadej
POGAČAR
View Overall Standings

Crashes and mechanicals littered the closing kilometres of the stage with the race losing two riders in Astana's Luis Leon Sanchez and Tsgabu Grmay of Trek-Segafredo.

Also crashing was Mitchelton-Scott's Adam Yates who quickly recovered with the help of his team-mates to rejoin the peloton.

The stage began with a break which included New Zealander Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) and Michael Gogl (Trek-Segafredo).

The Kiwi took the mountains classification points early in the stage on the côte de Pouzauges before dropping off along with Gogl. 

That left veteran Chavanel to spend the majority of the day in front. Celebrating his 18th Tour participation, the 39-year-old's effort ended with 13km to race but it was one which earned him the jury award as the day's most aggressive rider.

From that point on the sprint trains took over with Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) losing touch due to a flat and Mitchelton-Scott's Luke Durbridge suffering a crash.

Quick-Step Floors, Lotto Soudal and BORA-hansgrohe were the main teams to control the front of the race in the final kilometres. With 1.9 kilometres left there was a major crash on a right-hand turn, with a large portion of the peloton coming down and blocking the road for the riders behind.

That left approximately 15 riders to contest the final sprint, with notable fast men in Gaviria, Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), Dylan Groenewegen (Lotto NL-Jumbo) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) all caught up behind the fall.

The sprint was led out by Quick-Step Floors despite the lack of Gaviria and Demare was the first to jump. He was followed immediately by Sagan, who swept past a protesting Degenkolb, rounded Demare and held off a charging Colbrelli for the stage victory. 

Stage 2 Winners
Mathieu VAN DER POEL
Mathieu
VAN DER POEL
Tadej POGAČAR
Tadej
POGAČAR
Primož ROGLIČ
Primož
ROGLIČ
Edward THEUNS
Edward
THEUNS