Fan’s cardboard banner causes huge Tour de France crash
If stage one was designed to put the darling of French cycling Julian Alaphilippe in the yellow jersey – an opportunity he grasped quite sensationally amid the chaos – stage two is made to keep him in it. The 183.5km ride from Perros-Guirec finishes with two climbs of the Mur-de-Bretagne, a Tour de France classic which has a rich history of entertaining battles down the years, and it is perfect for Alaphilippe, an elite puncheur who will be swapping the road race world champion’s rainbow jersey for the yellow jersey and won’t give it up without a fight.
The day involves five categorised climbs in all and, just to add a twist to proceedings, bonus seconds await those riders quickest to the top of the first Mur-de-Bretagne climb. That incentive should encourage the big hitters to come to the fore and stay there, especially so given the crashes which saw so many riders lose time. Ineos’s Tao Geoghegan Hart is five minutes down and Richie Porte is more than two minutes back; 2019 podium finisher Steven Kruijswijk is 1min 49sec off the pace, as is Bora-Hansgrohe’s Emanuel Buchmann and Movistar co-leader Miguel Angel Lopez.
For the sprinters and a lot of the GC riders, getting through a day like this one is the first goal, albeit the power riders don’t mind finishing at the back to do it. But for the one-day specialists with the legs to withstand two climbs of the Mur-de-Bretagne, stage two is an opportunity waiting to be grabbed. Alaphilippe will need to be at his best to remain in yellow, with a raft of high-quality rivals who trailed him on Saturday, and perhaps his best form of defence is to attack for another victory. Follow all the latest updates below.
Tour de France stage 2: Early bike change for Lopez
Miguel Angel Lopez has been forced into an early bike change.
Not ideal for the Colombian, considering he lost nearly two minutes yesterday after his involvement in the second crash.
Alex Pattle27 June 2021 13:05
Tour de France stage 2: Welcome!
Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of stage 2 of the Tour de France!
Yesterday’s opening stage saw Julian Alaphilippe claim the yellow jersey, on a day spoiled by a huge crash caused by an oblivious fan holding a large cardboard sign.
Alex Pattle27 June 2021 12:43