Slovakian champion Peter Sagan continued his impressive start to his Tour de France debut with his second stage win inside three days on Tuesday.
RadioShack’s Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey at the end of a crash-marred day which witnessed the race’s first abandons.
Despite the near incessant drama on the tight, hilly roads leading to France’s number one fishing port, plenty was kept in reserve for the last of six punchy climbs on the 197 km stage from Orchies.
Having sprinted to victory on an uphill finish on Sunday to open his Tour stage account, Sagan produced another display of power to finish ahead of Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen and fellow Slovak Peter Velits.
Interview with Peter Sagan:
There were a number of crashes and incidents.Yellow jersey contenders Team Sky were the first to suffer a setback when Kanstantsin Sivtsov was forced to retire. Sivtsov, one of Sky’s support riders for race favourite Bradley Wiggins, was one of several riders caught up in a crash just after the Cote de l’Eperche around 140 km into the race. The Belarusian sat on the ground and waited for medical advice, apparently complaining of a sore knee, before his retirement was announced minutes later.
Today is one of the longest stages in the Tour, with 214.5 km between Abbeville and Rouen. Its one for the sprinters.