After the second stage of the Tour of France, Fabian Cancellara at RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK keeps the yellow jersey. A chaotic final 10km kept everyone on edge before the sprint finish took place in the city of Tournai. A blistering pace was set by the teams of the sprinters, with everyone vying for position at the front. World champion Mark Cavendish rocketed up the center of the course to take his 21st Tour stage victory. Besting rival Andre Greipel by less than half a wheel, Cavendish claimed his ninth season victory. Third place belonged to Matthew Goss of Orica GreenEdge.
For RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK it was all about safely shepherding Cancellara to the finish line. After yesterday’s massive effort at the front of the main field, it was good to see the teams of the sprinters doing the bulk of the work on stage 2. Fabian crossed the finish line with the main group and retained his race lead over Bradley Wiggins (Sky) by seven seconds.
It took a while for a break to finally get clear with Anthony Roux (FDJ), Christophe Kern (Europcar) and Michael Morkov (Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank) going clear after 60km on the 207.5km/129mi stage from Visé – Tournai. Argos-Shimano, Orica-GreenEdge and Lotto Beilsol all took turns at the front of the peloton, working for their sprinters on one of the flattest stages of this year’s Tour. Roux was the final hold out, brought back with less than 15km to go and lighting the fuse for the pace to go sky high in the finale. But Cavendish usually finds a way to win and today was no exception as the British rider chalked up his ninety-seventh career win.
Up next is stage 3 from Orchies to Boulogne-sur-Mer. It’s 197 km/122mi with six rated climbs, all stacked in the final 50km of racing before arriving in Boulogne-sur-Mer. A clever, punchy rider could attempt an escape to seal a win in the 99th Tour de France.