Cavendish Wins Stage 2 of Tour
Mark Cavendish (Columbia) has won Stage 2 of the Tour de France. The Columbia rider dusted the field in a bunch sprint to win the rolling, 187-km run from Monaco to Brignoles in 4:30:02. Tyler Farrar (Garmin) and Romain Feillu (Agritubel) took second and third, respectively. Stage 1 winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) remains the maillot jaune.
Hot weather greeted the riders. The heat, however, did not to dampen the racers' aggression. After several early sallies, Stef Clement (Rabobank)attacked just after the day's first climb, La Turbie (8.5 km). Jussi Veikkanen (La Francaise des Jeux), Cyril Dessil (Ag2r), and Stephane Auge (Cofidis) joined the Rabobank man. At 87 km, the escapees led the field by 5:15, but they would need more time to win.
They would not get it. Columbia began to drive the field, and Garmin joined the American squad eventually. With 40 km left, the break led the bunch by 4:10. With 16 km remaining, the gap was down to 1:00. Six km later, the field was together.
Mikhail Ignatiev (Katucha) counterattacked. The peloton, however, was letting no one escape. Ignatiev's lead maxed out at 0:17 before the bunch snuffed out the break.
Columbia, Garmin, and Milram fought it out at the front. Garmin took the field into the last km. A crash delayed Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and took him out of the sprint. George Hincapie (Columbia) led out Cavendish. Farrar had Cavendish's wheel.
Cavendish surged into the lead. Farrar attempted to get around the Manxman but to no avail. The Columbia man won easily.
In the overall, Cancellara leads Alberto Contador (Astana) by 0:18 and Bradley Wiggins (Garmin) at 0:19. Stage 3, a rolling, 196-km run from Marseille to La Grande-Motte, should end like Stage 2. Will Cavendish make it two in a row? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!