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Tour de France 2014

Date range:
July 5-27
  • Tour de France, France, WorldTour
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Stage 1

      Distance:
      190.5km
      Start location:
      Leeds
      End location:
      Harrogate
    • Stage 2

      Distance:
      201km
      Start location:
      York
      End location:
      Sheffield
    • Stage 3

      Distance:
      155km
      Start location:
      Cambridge
      End location:
      London
    • Stage 4

      Distance:
      163.5km
      Start location:
      Le Touquet-Paris-Plage
      End location:
      Lille Métropole
    • Stage 5

      Distance:
      155.5km
      Start location:
      Ypres
      End location:
      Arenberg Porte du Hainaut
    • Stage 6

      Distance:
      194km
      Start location:
      Arras
      End location:
      Reims
    • Stage 7

      Distance:
      234.5km
      Start location:
      Épernay
      End location:
      Nancy
    • Stage 8

      Distance:
      161km
      Start location:
      Tomblaine
      End location:
      Gérardmer La Mauselaine
    • Stage 9

      Distance:
      170km
      Start location:
      Gérardmer
      End location:
      Mulhouse
    • Stage 10

      Distance:
      161.5km
      Start location:
      Mulhouse
      End location:
      La Planche des Belles Filles
    • Rest Day 1

      Start location:
      Besançon
      End location:
      Besançon
    • Stage 11

      Distance:
      187.5km
      Start location:
      Besançon
      End location:
      Oyonnax
    • Stage 12

      Distance:
      185.5km
      Start location:
      Bourg-en-Bresse
      End location:
      Saint-Étienne
    • Stage 13

      Distance:
      197.5km
      Start location:
      Saint-Étienne
      End location:
      Chamrousse
    • Stage 14

      Distance:
      177km
      Start location:
      Grenoble
      End location:
      Risoul
    • Stage 15

      Distance:
      222km
      Start location:
      Tallard
      End location:
      Nîmes
    • Rest Day 2

      Start location:
      Carcassonne
      End location:
      Carcassonne
    • Stage 16

      Distance:
      237.5km
      Start location:
      Carcassonne
      End location:
      Bagnères-de-Luchon
    • Stage 17

      Distance:
      124.5km
      Start location:
      Saint-Gaudens
      End location:
      Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d'Adet
    • Stage 18

      Distance:
      145.5km
      Start location:
      Pau
      End location:
      Hautacam
    • Stage 19

      Distance:
      208.5km
      Start location:
      Maubourguet Pays du Val d'Adour
      End location:
      Bergerac
    • Stage 20

      Distance:
      54km
      Start location:
      Bergerac
      End location:
      Périgueux (ITT)
    • Stage 21

      Distance:
      137.5km
      Start location:
      Évry
      End location:
      Paris Champs-Élysées
  • Race history

July 06, Stage 2: York - Sheffield 201km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage from stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France.

  1. 10:59:02 BST

    • Omega Pharma QuickStep

    We start with the biggest news of the day, that Mark Cavendish is out of the race due the injuries he sustained in a crash yesterday. Right now he's outside the Omega team bus and talking to the media but the team confirmed the news to Cyclingnews this morning.

  2. 11:00:28 BST

    Cavendish, dressed in his team issue tracksuit looks down as you might expect as he makes his way along the line of journalists waiting for him.

  3. 11:02:28 BST

    The sprinters try to avoid the falling Mark Cavendish and Simon Gerrans

    Cavendish came down in the sprint yesterday along with Simon Gerrans. The British rider said afterwards that the fall was his fault and that he would call Gerrans, who is still set to start this morning. We're just waiting for Cavendish to reach us as we wait alongside the BBC and Eurosport.

  4. 11:11:03 BST

    Cavendish:

    We knew last night and I knew straight away because normally in crashed I bounce back straight away. This was the first time in my career that I knew something was up but I wanted to finish and I was able to do that but I was in pain.

    I had some optimism that the swelling would go down overnight but it’s not possible to start today. I’m absolutely devastated. The Tour is the UK for anther two days and secondly we have incredible team.

    They rode incredibly yesterday and they will for the next 20 days and I wanted to be part of that success.

     

  5. 11:13:22 BST

    Cavendish Gerrans:

    I spoke to Gerrans at the finish and then I called him at his hotel last night too. We both went for Sagan’s wheel but I wanted that gap so bad but it wasn’t there. I hope that Simon is okay and today is a stage for him. He’s a good guy and I m sorry.

    I would have loved to have been here for three weeks as we have a really strong team here but the crash was my fault a the end of the day.

     

  6. 11:14:59 BST

    And that's it. He' now moved on to talk to the rest of the media. Britain's most successful Tour rider in terms of stage wins is out of the Tour de France and Omega Pharma lose one of their three main leaders after just a day of racing.

  7. 11:20:31 BST

    You can read our full story on Cavendish leaving the Tour, right here.

    Lefevere has now appeared and the Belgian team boss has promised that the team will attack today. It's the perfect day to race aggressively too with a parcours to rival some of the hardest one day races in the calendar.

  8. 11:29:23 BST

    • Yellow Jersey

    Cavendish's win has taken some of the spotlight off the finish from yesterday, and we saw Marcel Kittel take arguably one of the best sprint wins of his career. He made it look easy and while most of the pure sprinters were either dropped or were blocked by the crash, the Giant-Shimano rider put himself in the perfect position and held off the challenge from Peter Sagan. It's Kittel's second yellow jersey in two years. Here's the top ten from yesterday's action.

     

    1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 4:44:07
    2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
    3 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin - Sharp
    4 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar
    5 Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
    6 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
    7 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha
    8 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling
    9 José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
    10 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica Greenedge

     

  9. 11:35:31 BST

    There's light rain at the start as riders begin to sign on at the start. Once again the crowds are out in force for a stage that contains nine categorised climbs including Holme Moss, the first second category climb to feature in the race. Today could quite easily be one of the most important days in the entire race.

  10. 11:39:13 BST

    Alex Sans Vega:

    Today will be like a Belgian Classic. The GC contenders have to be careful to keep a good position - you can't win the Tour here but you can lose it because of time gaps or crashes. Given the small roads, it's going to be very dangerous.

     

  11. 11:39:50 BST

    The northern English county is defined by its punchy climbs and this stage is littered with nine of them. Its route is akin to some of the spring classics and will break up the peloton.

    While it is possible we may see a sprint finish in Sheffield, the group will be severely diminished at the end of these 201 kilometres. After winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Simon Gerrans will be one of the favourites to take victory and perhaps even enjoy a second stint in the yellow jersey. Sprinters such as Peter Sagan and Arnaud Démare will also be ones to watch on this stage. They will have to be wary of the very technical finish that twists its way through Sheffield though.

    If you don’t want to chance your hand in the sprint, the final two climbs of Oughtibridge and Jenkin Road are prime places to make your bid for the line. From the top of the final climb it is only five kilometres to the finish and a decent time triallist could hold a small gap to the line.

    This stage could light up what can often be a dull first week of the race. Even at this early point, GC riders will have to look out as they could lose some time if they’re not attentive enough.

  12. 11:45:01 BST

    • Cannondale

    In Sheffield the crowds have already started to gather and the rain is holding off for now but there's talk of heavy showers later on. Today's stage has been likened to a mini-Liege-Bastogne-Liege. There are so many riders who could move into yellow today but one of the main favourites is Peter Sagan. Liege isn't a race he's focused on before and this is certainly shorter, but the route really suits him. If and more likely when the main sprinters are dropped Sagan will need to race intelligently. He'll be a marked man so he'll need to decide on whether to follow moves or wait for a sprint. He'll certainly need a strong team around him given how fresh all of his rivals still are.

  13. 11:52:07 BST

    • Orica GreenEdge

    Arm warmers for the majority of the riders at the start this morning as we approach the start - just under 10 minutes to go. Gerrans is talking to the media, and says that he's feeling stiff and sore after yesterday's crash. He is still hoping to make a mark on the stage, however and like Sagan, he's another favourite for today.

  14. 11:54:55 BST

    • blank

    You can watch our video preview of today's stage, right here and don't forget you can subscribe to our YouTube channel, here too.

  15. 12:02:42 BST

    • Red Polka Dot Jersey

    Sagan, Kittel and KOM leader Voigt lead the peloton out and through the neutralized zone. It will be interesting to see if Voigt attacks. He'll need to be in the break again if he wants to keep that jersey. If a rider goes on the attack and leads over a number of climbs they could hang onto the polka-dot jersey for perhaps up to a week.

  16. 12:04:12 BST

    • Green Jersey

    Coquard is of course in green, keeping that warm for Kittel. There's an intermediate sprint after 65km in today's stage but a break will have gone by then.

  17. 12:07:35 BST

    Kittel and Voigt on the front and having  chit-chat, the old and new generations of German cycling leading two competitions in this year's Tour de France. Froome is also on the front as well right now. Could he try something today, given how strong he finished yesterday? He and Valverde may look to go on the attack.

  18. 12:17:32 BST

    Contador and Frank Schleck are near the front of the peloton with the flag about to drop at any minute.

  19. 12:21:11 BST

    And the attacks go from gun and five riders have made a move but they only have a few seconds.

  20. 12:26:03 BST

    Six riders are clear and they're working well together but the bunch keep on trying to launch more riders forward. There's a rider from Lotto trying to bridge up now.

  21. 12:27:19 BST

    The leading six have pushed their lead out to around 20 seconds now, by my guess with one Lotto rider chasing. It looks like the bunch has sat up too.

  22. 12:29:53 BST

    Matthew Busche (Trek Factory Racing), Blel Kadri (AG2R La Mondiale), Perrig Quemeneur (Team Europcar), David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Team NetApp-Endura), Armindo Fonseca (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) and Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis, Solutions Credits) are the six riders currently leading the race. No Voigt so we'll have a new leader in the KOM competition if the move sticks.

     

  23. 12:33:23 BST

    • Omega Pharma QuickStep

    If you're just joining us the biggest news from this morning is that Mark Cavendish is out of the race due to the injuries he sustained in yesterday's crash. Read the full story here.

  24. 12:35:01 BST

    Back to today's action and the six man break has over 2:30 over the peloton.

  25. 187km remaining from 201km

    12:37:15 BST

    Bart De Clercq (Lotto Belisol) has made it to the leaders so we now have seven men in the early break.

  26. 12:38:47 BST

    • Yellow Jersey

    Giant Shimano are on the front of the peloton. It will be interesting to see how hard they chase today. Kittel will probably lose his lead today but John Degenkolb may well get his chance.

  27. 12:44:00 BST

    With the TV cameras on all day Giant Shimano, are getting everything they can from Kittel being in yellow and have put the entire team on the front. Behind them sits Sagan and his Cannondale teammates with the break at 2:49.

  28. 12:49:22 BST

    The Côte de Blubberhouses, a 4th cat climb, is the first ascent of the day and the seven leaders will be fighting for the one point available on offer.

  29. 12:57:03 BST

    The break aren't allowed too much room with the gap holding at 2'50 as Cannodale post a single man on the front of the peloton.

  30. 13:01:11 BST

    Another day and another stage for Joaquim Rodriguez to sit at the back of the peloton. It's very similar to how Pantani used to rider the first week of the Tour but the Katusha rider is still recovering it seems from his Giro crash.

  31. 13:07:04 BST

    • Orica GreenEdge

    Cyclingnews' Stephen Farrand caught up with Simon Gerrans at the start this morning.

     

    "I’m pretty sore at the moment. Last night I couldn’t believe how I got away so lightly after the crash but I’m a bit stiff and sore. I still hope to come away with something from the stage though," he told CN.

    "It’s so difficult to win stages in the Tour so to try and win when carrying injuries makes it more difficult. Realistically I don’t rate my chances that highly but I have high hopes all the same."
     

  32. 13:07:05 BST

    • Orica GreenEdge

    Cyclingnews' Stephen Farrand caught up with Simon Gerrans at the start this morning.

     

    "I’m pretty sore at the moment. Last night I couldn’t believe how I got away so lightly after the crash but I’m a bit stiff and sore. I still hope to come away with something from the stage though," he told CN.

    "It’s so difficult to win stages in the Tour so to try and win when carrying injuries makes it more difficult. Realistically I don’t rate my chances that highly but I have high hopes all the same."
     

  33. 13:18:50 BST

    Just a big thank you to all our readers to stayed with us yesterday despite the technical issues that we had in the morning and early afternoon. We really appreciate it. Show trials will take place at Future Towers tomorrow. We may even provide live coverage.

  34. 13:23:18 BST

    The race has covered just over 42km of the stage and the break are 3'02 ahead of the bunch, that's the biggest gap they've had today as they approach the first climb of the day.

  35. 13:24:18 BST

    Race leader Marcel Kittel is riding in the middle of the pack as Ted King sets the pace on the front.

  36. 13:24:45 BST

    Contador on the left hand side with his entire Tinkoff Saxo team riding around him.

  37. 13:25:54 BST

    We saw a few splits on the climbs yesterday, mainly due to the narrow roads and that's why Contador is so close to the front. Nibali has moved to the front as well.

  38. 13:30:34 BST

    The seven leaders are now on the first climb of the day, which averages around 6 per cent. The break has 3'08 on the bunch.

  39. 13:32:49 BST

    Cyril Lemoine takes the single point on offer and opens his account in the KOM competition.

  40. 13:36:40 BST

    There's a small crash as the peloton reach the top of the climb with Bartosz Huzarski going down. He's quickly back on his feet and waiting for mechanical assistance.

  41. 13:37:07 BST

    And there's another crash and this one is bigger and Gerrans is involded again.

  42. 13:37:31 BST

    Westra is also down with two Cofidis riders involved.

  43. 13:38:11 BST

    The bunch are riding slowly at the moment so the riders involved should be able to get back as Cannondale and Saxo sit on the front.

  44. 13:39:29 BST

    Now four BMC riders are at the back, so was van Garderen in that fall?

  45. 13:39:59 BST

    Meanwhile Eisel, Porte and Froome are close to the front of the peloton.

  46. 13:40:22 BST

    Just under 150km to go and the gap to the break is at 3'42.

  47. 13:41:36 BST

    And van Garderen has had to change bikes so he may have been in that tumble.

  48. 13:43:44 BST

    And it's all Tinkoff Saxo on the front now, as Contador's team take charge of the peloton.

  49. 141km remaining from 201km

    13:50:19 BST

    And the Giant team have moved forward again as they try and control the bunch ahead of the intermediate sprint. Kittel is going to go for this.

  50. 13:54:10 BST

    The gap is starting to drop, it's at 2'47 but the wind is also starting to pick up as we head to the intermediate sprint on stage 2.

  51. 13:55:45 BST

    There's another crash and this time it's a Lampre rider on the deck. He's on his feet but it looks like he'll need a new bike.

  52. 13:58:55 BST

    And there's another crash and this time it's Mollema who has two teammates checking over him. The Belkin leader looks fine and should be chasing back soon. At the front of the race van Garderen has moved back to the front of the bunch.

  53. 14:01:13 BST

    Mollema has just made contact with the back of the peloton with 134km to go.

  54. 14:04:44 BST

    No contest for the sprint with Kadri leading them over the line. There's a max of 8 points up for the first rider over the line from the bunch.

  55. 14:04:58 BST

    Cannondale and Katusha are there, Lotto too.

  56. 14:05:18 BST

    The jump in pace has brought the break back to 1'50.

  57. 14:06:14 BST

    And it's Coquard who takes. No Kittel or Degenkolb featuring.

  58. 14:10:28 BST

    Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) has a shot at taking the leader's yellow jersey at the end of today's stage thanks to his third place on stage one.

    He is a good climber and excellent tactician and is expected to be in the front group after the hilly finale. Garrmin-Sharp indicated to Cyclingnews that the team is ready to let him try for yellow despite targeting overall success with Andrew Talansky.

    Navardauskas was a late call up to the Garmin-Sharp team, replacing David Millar, but proved he has excellent form.

    "Anything is possible," he said when asked if he can take yellow in Sheffield.

    "We'll see how the stage ends. It's a difficult day with the hills. It wont be easy with the wind on the tops of the climbs. There are other smart riders hoping to take yellow. We'll see what happens. We've got nine category climbs and lot of other climbs too."

    "I think Sagan is a big rival for the yellow. We'll see at the end of the stage."

  59. 14:14:21 BST

     Susan taking over for a spell.

  60. 14:15:55 BST

    Despite all the warning to stay off the road, one fan stepped out onto the road only a few inches, but just as the bunch was passing. He made contact with Roy Curvers of Giant-Shimano, who was able to stay upright. Not so the fan. We hope he is not injured, and we also hope that his action is not repeated.

     

  61. 14:20:47 BST

    The field is charging up a cobblestoned hill in a town. There are a lot of these short but steep and nasty little climbs along the way today.

     

  62. 14:25:01 BST

    Next up is the Cote de Oxenhope Moor. It is 3.1km long and has an average gradient of 6.4%, with sections up to 13%. Being Category 3, it offers points to the first two riders at the top.

     

  63. 14:26:53 BST

    Huge crowds on this climb. Let's hope they all stay back!

     

  64. 14:31:47 BST

    The peloton is climbing all bunched up together.

     

  65. 14:34:09 BST

    The gap is at 2:31 as the break group sprints for the next mountain points.

     

  66. 14:34:50 BST

    Quemenour takes off in search of the two points.

     

  67. 14:36:55 BST

    The Frenchman easily takes the pint with a tidy gap over his break companions. Lemoine takes the remaining one point.

     

  68. 114km remaining from 201km

    14:39:21 BST

    The field comes to the top together, with the gap now up to 3:18.

     

  69. 14:44:16 BST

    Quemeneur waited for the break after he took the mountain points, so they are all together again on the descent.

     

  70. 14:45:37 BST

    A mechanical problem for NetApp captain Leo König. The team car and mechanic help him get going again.

     

  71. 14:49:36 BST

    The break group has found a rare flat section. Ah, it is the feed zone. Sadly not only the team staff members are standing in the road....

     

  72. 14:52:35 BST

    Now the field is picking up its lunch bags.

     

  73. 14:53:50 BST

    Another crash. Someone from Giant and someone from Garmin. Neither appears injured but the Garmin's bike may need some help.

     

  74. 14:54:57 BST

    Trek Factory Racing riders didn’t hang around long at the start of the stage at York Race Course, but Jen Voigt emerged to cheers. Asked if yesterday’s jersey win – and picking up the most combative rider prize – would tempt him rethink retirement at the end of 2014 he said:

    “At a crazy moment it crosses your mind, but then your body, goes no, no – you promised one more year. And I could already here my wife, ooooh...

    “End of this year, my career ends. My 43-year-old legs are hurting a little bit.” He actually turns 43 in September.

    Meanwhile Andy Schleck played down any hopes he may have for a strong finish on today’s saw-tooth 201km parcours from York to Sheffield. “It’s like a classic race today I believe,” he said. “We’ll stay safe and see where I can finish on the final.”

  75. 14:56:05 BST

    Durasek (Lampre) is the next rider to fall. So many nerves out there and it keeps leading to mistakes.

  76. 14:58:32 BST

    Closing on the final 100km of racing as the peloton goes through the feedzone. Saxo remain on the front at the moment with Matteo Tosatto - so important on stages like this - sets the pace.

  77. 15:00:36 BST

    Merrijn Zeeman, DS at Belkin on stage 1:

    It went pretty much as we expected. The middle part made it hard because of the twisting roads and the difficult parcours. Thibaut Pinot and [Dani] Navarro ended up in the final group and I was thinking that they might end up losing time because it was all tailwind back to the finish, but the pace went down a little bit because of the crowds.

     

    The sheer number of them made it more difficult because the wide roads weren’t as wide as we were expecting. On the climbs the peloton really stretched and they even had to stop sometimes because towards the top they could only go two riders abreast and that meant the riders behind were blocked and had to stop. That made it hard, because getting going again from a dead stop on a steep climb requires a good deal of energy. But at the same time I think everyone was really, really impressed by yesterday’s stage. It was unbelievable to see so many people out.

     

    We were a little bit disappointed at the finish because if Sep [Vanmarcke] hadn’t been hampered a little by Cavendish’s crash he could have been very close to winning. He had to pull his foot out of the pedal and brake, and still managed to finish eighth.

     

  78. 15:01:21 BST

    Zeeman:

    The Côte de Holme Moss is a crucial point. I expect a big fight there. Twenty kilometres on from that we have a series of tough hills. It will be full gas from there. I just hope that everyone stays upright and we have a fight between the best riders. It could be a question of how many fans there are on the roads. They are already narrow. It’s not easy to get passed in a car on these roads, so if anything happens to one of your riders it’s also not easy to help. It’s going to be nervous.

     

    We’d like to have a result today and I think it’s possible we can get one. Normally, Sagan and Degenkolb will be good enough to be in contention. If it’s a sprint of 40 or 50 guys, they are my favourites, but if the best climbers contest it between them then Bauke will really have a chance.

     

    Tomorrow I want an easy day into London and then we can start to think about the stages in France.

     

  79. 15:03:26 BST

    Remember you can catch up with all our recent Tour de France videos, right here.

  80. 15:09:22 BST

    The next climb on the menu is the VC - Côte de Ripponden, a third cat climb that will test the mettle of the break after over 100km of racing.

  81. 15:10:54 BST

    If you're just joining us today the big news is that Mark Cavendish is out of this year's Tour de France due the injuries he sustained in yesterday's crash.

  82. 15:13:18 BST

    Demare has a front flat and is waiting for a new wheel. The FDJ car pulls over and the Frenchman is on his way again.

  83. 15:15:59 BST

    A sweeping descent before the climb and it's de la Cruz who attacks at the bottom.

  84. 15:16:30 BST

    The break string out straight away due to the attack from the Netapp man but he may have gone too early.

  85. 15:16:53 BST

    He's caught and now de Clercq is setting the pace.

  86. 15:17:13 BST

    Meanwhile Rodriguez is at the back of the peloton and shaking his head.

  87. 15:18:03 BST

    Rodriguez at the start:

    I feel OK and in the end I got through yesterday’s stage OK, but things are a little more complicated today. There are lots of hills and lots of guys who are very fresh. Given my state of form it’s going to be very difficult to be in contention. I’m hoping that during the first half of the Tour I can find some form be able to have an impact beyond that.

     

  88. 15:18:44 BST

    And now it's Busche who attacks but Lemoine and the rest of the break can match him.

  89. 15:19:16 BST

    Last American to wear the KOM was probably van Garderen in his first Tour de France in 2011.

  90. 15:20:00 BST

    Lemoine is first though and de la Cruz and that means the Cofidis man is joint leader with Voigt in that competition.

  91. 15:21:28 BST

    The peloton crest the top of the climb 2;05 down.

  92. 15:28:43 BST

    And there's now an acceleration from BMC, the action is starting in the peloton now as the GC riders and stage hunters look to position themselves near the front and up ahead the leaders are on the Côte de Greetland.

  93. 15:29:08 BST

    BMC, Garmin, Movistar and Tinkoff are all on the front and riders are being dropped.

  94. 15:29:35 BST

    Two Lampre riders are off the back and there's a Sky rider struggling too.

  95. 81km remaining from 201km

    15:29:56 BST

    81km to go and the stage is hotting up nicely.

  96. 15:30:38 BST

    And the sprint opens for the KOM points and Lemoine is first with de la Cruz second again.

  97. 15:31:05 BST

    Danny Pate is at the back of the bunch and fetching bottles for his team.

  98. 15:32:26 BST

    Bryan Coquard, Europcar debutant wearing green jersey on stage 2:

    Tomorrow we’ve got a stage finish in London, which has got particularly good memories for me from the 2012 Olympics [when he won gold in the points race]. It’s my best memory in the sport so far. I’d certainly like to do well there again on this occasion. It’s a flat stage and it should finish with a sprint, but today’s stage is one that I also like the look of. It’s hard, perhaps too hard for me, I don’t really know yet, but I will be trying hard to hang on for as long as possible.

     

  99. 15:32:41 BST

    Meanwhile Demare is struggling to catch the peloton.

  100. 15:38:41 BST

    IAM Cycling are also near the front of the peloton with Chavanel looking to make a move. We caught up with the Frenchman before the race, with this short video interview.

  101. 15:40:01 BST

    • Rainbow Jersey

    The world champion Rui Costa is also near the front and he's a rider to watch today. The climbs suit his style and he's in fine form after winning his third Tour de Suisse last month.

  102. 15:46:50 BST

    Thomas Voeckler:

    This is the kind of stage I really like the look of, but the thing there’s a lot of guys who know that and who also like the look of it. Apart from the teams of the three GC favourites, every other team on the race would like to get a rider into the break today. It would be disappointing if we didn’t get a rider into the break, but it’s going to be difficult to achieve that.

     

    I’ve not done a recce of the stage because it was difficult to get across to the UK, but the roadbook gives a lot of detail. People are saying it’s a bit like Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and as Gerrans was the champion there I guess he’s the man to watch.

     

    My legs are OK just now but it’s hard to know what might happen today. It’s always complicated at the start of the Tour de France because if you’re legs are good you’ve got to be careful not to overdo it, and if they aren’t good then you have to avoid worrying about it. You just have to take it stage by stage.

     

  103. 15:48:17 BST

    Sagan is at the back of the bunch and doesn't have much help around him. It looks like he just needed to return to the team car as the gap between the peloton and break is down to 42 seconds. Voigt could still save his KOM jersey if things comes back together.

  104. 15:49:03 BST

    A number of Cannondale riders have dropped back for Sagan who is on the radio and talking to his team car.

  105. 15:51:33 BST

    And there's been another fall and this time it's Porte who has gone down. He's on his feet but he needs a new bike.

  106. 15:51:59 BST

    Roche is also down but he's up and back on his bike.

  107. 15:52:39 BST

    Roche is chasing back and should make it back as we see Porte riding again. He should be able to make it back through the cars but it's not going to be easy.

  108. 15:53:08 BST

    The leaders now have just 25 seconds with 64 km to go.

  109. 15:53:10 BST

    The leaders now have just 25 seconds with 64 km to go.

  110. 15:54:07 BST

    And we see Kittel shouting and moving up to the front. Nibali, Contador, Froome, and Valverde are all up there as we see Porte back with the team car. Porte has lost 90 seconds already.

  111. 15:54:40 BST

    Sky are near the front of the bunch. Will they try and use their clout to slow the pace down?

  112. 15:55:10 BST

    Well it's going to be hard because Astana are now setting the pace as we head towards Côte de Holme Moss.

  113. 15:55:28 BST

    Froome is wheree he needs to be as we see Kadri attack.

  114. 15:56:55 BST

    The break is about to be caught with 57km to go.

  115. 15:57:25 BST

    And Porte is coming back, he got a teammate with him and he's going to come back as Pate paces him back.

  116. 15:58:00 BST

    We have just three leader, Kadri, Lemoine and Fonseca as Griepel is dropped early on the climb of Côte de Holme Moss

  117. 15:58:18 BST

    And now we just have Kadri and Lemoine on the front but the gap is less than 15 seconds.

  118. 15:58:46 BST

    And now Eisel has dropped back to help Porte. Sky doing all they can as Voeckler attacks.

  119. 15:59:05 BST

    Kittel is struggling, he's about to be dropped.

  120. 16:00:42 BST

    Kittel is dropped for sure now as Sky set the pace at the front of the peloton, while Porte looks to make contact with the bunch. There's an attack from Cofidis just after Voeckler is caught.

  121. 16:01:16 BST

    So just one day in yellow for Kittel as at the front Froome talks his teammates. Pate is still pacing Porte back.

  122. 16:01:50 BST

    It looks like Sky are slowing things down as Kadri pushes on alone.

  123. 16:02:33 BST

    Voeckler hasnt' been caught, apologies and now he's about to catch Kadri.

  124. 16:02:46 BST

    And now Tony Martin has attacked.

  125. 16:03:32 BST

    It's all kicking off on the climb and rider after rider tries to go clear and Voeckler is out of the saddle as he closes in on Kadri. He still has some work to do.

  126. 16:03:56 BST

    they're on the 14 per cent stretches as Porte now catches some of the riders who have been dropped.

  127. 16:03:58 BST

    they're on the 14 per cent stretches as Porte now catches some of the riders who have been dropped.

  128. 16:04:14 BST

    Still Team Sky on the front as more and more riders start to slip back.

  129. 16:05:05 BST

    And Voeckler has caught Kadri on the climb with 1km to go before the summit.

  130. 16:05:38 BST

    Kittle is a minute down on the peloton and calling for his team car.

  131. 16:06:32 BST

    As up ahead Kadri and Voeckler compete for most impressive grimace. Porte is cutting through the traffic but it's a huge effort.

  132. 16:06:44 BST

    Coquard is struggling now.

  133. 16:07:34 BST

    Has Voeckler been dropped? He's no longer with Kadri and I think the Europcar rider has been dropped but here comes Edet, who is now third on the road.

  134. 16:08:15 BST

    Edet is about to catch Voeckler and he goes around him with a huge kick but Kadri is top at the climb and takes 5 points.

  135. 16:08:27 BST

    Edet is second and Voeckler third.

  136. 16:08:52 BST

    There's now  a rapid descent off the climb as Team Sky set the pace.

  137. 16:10:07 BST

    And Team Sky lead the peloton over the summit with Kittel nearly three minutes down. Kadri has 22 seconds on the duo behind and 1'15 on the peloton.

  138. 16:11:02 BST

    Kadri is gunning it down the descent with Voeckler and Edet linking up behind him.

  139. 16:12:25 BST

    Tony Martin has made it three chasers as he links up with Edet and Voeckler. That will give them some much needed horsepower.

  140. 16:18:19 BST

    Kadri has 30 seconds on the chase and one minute on the buch that now has Cannondale on the front. Demare, Kittel, Greipel are all in a group off the back of the main field.

  141. 16:21:16 BST

    The Ag2R is pushing on and now has 46 seconds over the Tony Martin group.

  142. 16:22:34 BST

    A few more riders have linked up with the Martin group, Burghardt is one of them, and now Voeckler has a teammate too.

  143. 16:23:18 BST

    Kadri meanwhile takes on a quick snack. He has 1'17 on the peloton with 46km to go.

  144. 16:29:40 BST

    On these flat roads Kadri is up against it and he's losing time. Remember, post race, you can find all results, photos and reports right here on Cyclingnews. com.

  145. 16:29:57 BST

    As now Contador's team set the pace on the front of the peloton.

  146. 16:31:26 BST

    Rogers is calling the shots for Tinkoff at the front of the bunch and making sure the team are well positioned.

  147. 16:31:52 BST

    The Tony Martin group only have a few seconds on the peloton and the next climb is just around the corner.

  148. 16:32:26 BST

    It's almost a sprint at the front of the bunch now as teams looked for the best position.

  149. 16:32:52 BST

    And Kadri has just 12 seconds now.

  150. 16:33:20 BST

    Tuft hits the front with Gerrans near the front as well.

  151. 16:34:03 BST

    Martin's group have been caught and Kadri looks back and he can see the peloton.

  152. 16:35:01 BST

    And Kadri has been caught as Tony Martin sets the pace on the front of the peloton.

  153. 16:35:37 BST

    We cut to Kttel once more as the German looks to save as much energy as possible for tomorrow's stage.

  154. 16:36:27 BST

    Martin continues to lead the bunch up to the peak of the Côte de Midhopestones.

  155. 16:37:37 BST

    Porte is near the front after his little scare. Garmin are setting the pace after Martin swings off.

  156. 16:37:47 BST

    Voigt has been dropped.

  157. 16:38:10 BST

    As Alex Howes sets the pace with Slagter on his wheel.

  158. 16:39:07 BST

    Now it's Talansky in second wheel as Slagter sets the pace. Garmin are taking control of the race but there's still a long way to go, 33 km in fact.

  159. 16:39:39 BST

    And Garmin accelerate over the descent and it's going to cause a split for sure.

  160. 16:39:57 BST

    The entire bunch string out as Talansky sits in second wheel.

  161. 16:40:37 BST

    Slagter is putting so much pressure on the riders behind and there are gaps starting to appear.

  162. 16:46:19 BST

    The pace has caused a severe split with Sky now taking control. It looks like Contador is on his own and without teammates. Talansky is there, Froome Gerrans and riders are all over the place.

  163. 16:46:59 BST

    There's a cross wind as Thomas sets the pace. Nibali is also there but the lead group probably has less then 40 riders in it.

  164. 16:47:36 BST

    Into the final 29km and Garmin, and now Team Sky have torn the race apart.

  165. 16:48:03 BST

    Sagan is just about hanging on.

  166. 16:48:53 BST

    Contador has a few more teammates with him now as Thomas eases up slightly. 

  167. 16:49:04 BST

    Valverde is also in the lead group.

  168. 16:49:25 BST

    Thomas has upped the pace once more though and the lead group lines out.

  169. 16:50:45 BST

    The leaders are now on the Côte de Bradfield. it's just a 4th cat climb but it could be crucial.

     

  170. 16:52:05 BST

    Astana and Team Sky share the pace on the front of the group as Nibali holds Froome's wheel.

  171. 16:52:56 BST

    Simon Yates is also still in the lead group but it's Geraint Thomas who continues to control the pace as they crest the climb with 26km to go.

  172. 16:53:39 BST

    It's Grivko who actually takes the one point on offer over the climb.

  173. 16:54:30 BST

    Froome now takes on a gel as he sits behind the Team Sky train.

  174. 16:54:51 BST

    Van Garderen is also in the group and he has a teammate with him.

  175. 16:56:35 BST

    They're on a rapid descent with a few tricky corners but Thomas gets them through safely.

  176. 16:58:20 BST

    Sagan is near the front of the group and he stil has plenty of support from Cannondale. Can he survive the last few climbs.

  177. 16:58:41 BST

    Rui Costa is also there as they start another climb.

  178. 16:59:07 BST

    Cannondale push a man to the front of the group as Thomas slips into second wheel.

  179. 16:59:54 BST

    Just 20km to go as we see Mollema near the back of the group.

  180. 17:00:45 BST

    Rolland is up there too and has a teammate leading him towards the front. Yates is starting to struggle though and he's getting dropped.

  181. 17:01:36 BST

    They're climbing the penultimate climb of Côte d'Oughtibridge and that looks like Horner on the front.

  182. 17:03:04 BST

    And they crest the climb with Rolland having a little dig and taking two points.

  183. 17:03:17 BST

    He sits up with Peraud on his wheel.

  184. 17:07:02 BST

    And now the pair push on with Rolland asking the AG2R rider to come through and take a turn.

  185. 17:07:32 BST

    Cannondale, it's up to you to chase this if you want to see Sagan take the stage and yellow.

  186. 17:08:22 BST

    Thes two now have 15km to go with a 15 second lead.

  187. 17:08:46 BST

    And it is Cannondale who are moving up and starting to chase.

  188. 17:09:29 BST

    And Rolland goes again as Peraud sits up.

  189. 17:09:54 BST

    This is a good move from Rolland as Cannondale still haven't organised their chase yet.

  190. 17:10:09 BST

    Peraud has been caught.

  191. 17:11:33 BST

    More and more riders have joined the Froome/Contador/Sagan bunch but Rolland is pushing on as Cannondale try and bring him back. Thomas is still up there, and in second place.

  192. 17:11:47 BST

    Rolland has 12 seconds with 12km to go.

  193. 17:12:24 BST

    The lead goes out to 15 seconds and one of the Cannondale riders has blown.

  194. 17:13:23 BST

    The lead is just 10 seconds as he takes a short descent before the final climb.

  195. 17:13:44 BST

    Cancellara is also in the main group. Will he try another attack?

  196. 17:14:14 BST

    Rolland has just 6 seconds as Cannondale give everything for the chase and for Sagan.

  197. 17:14:27 BST

    Into the final 10km.

  198. 17:15:35 BST

    Rolland's gap is less than 6 seconds and Sagan still has three men on the front. Nibali is there too and he has support from Astana.

  199. 17:15:54 BST

    Rolland sits up.

  200. 17:17:04 BST

    And it's Orica who hit the front for Gerrans but Albasini is also there.

  201. 17:17:39 BST

    Albasini is near the front, Gerrans has slipped back a bit but Sagan is there, Froome too.

  202. 17:17:54 BST

    We're just 2km from the climb.

  203. 17:18:45 BST

    Albasini is in second wheel. Andy Schleck and Gerrans are at the back of the bunch.

  204. 17:18:56 BST

    Contador is moving up too.

  205. 17:19:11 BST

    We're about to hit the climb.

  206. 17:19:25 BST

    Attack from Cannondale.

  207. 17:19:40 BST

    Gerrans is dropped.

  208. 17:20:00 BST

    Nibali is following Contador and Froome is chasing.

  209. 17:20:09 BST

    And Contador is now leading.

  210. 17:20:39 BST

    Contador, Nibali, Froome, Sagan and Valverde all on the front.

  211. 17:20:57 BST

    Contador is setting the pace, it's stage 2 of the Tour de France.

  212. 17:21:11 BST

    And now Sagan moves to the front.

  213. 17:21:21 BST

    And Froome attacks.

  214. 17:21:46 BST

    Van Garderen catches him with Nibali and then Contador moving up.

  215. 17:21:57 BST

    They're over the top of the climb.

  216. 17:22:20 BST

    And now Astana set teh pace on the descent with Fuglsang on the front.

  217. 17:22:40 BST

    Froome is in second wheel.

  218. 17:22:55 BST

    And Sagan has attacked.

  219. 17:23:07 BST

    3.5km to go and he's hit the front.

  220. 17:23:35 BST

    He's taking the corners perfectly on the descent.

  221. 17:23:48 BST

    All the GC guys are here.

  222. 17:24:32 BST

    A few attacks but it's all back together.

  223. 17:24:48 BST

    An attack from AG2r.

  224. 17:25:02 BST

    Sagan matches it and it's all back together again.

  225. 17:25:16 BST

    And here goes Nibali.

  226. 17:25:26 BST

    And he has a gap.

  227. 17:25:39 BST

    Nibali has a gap with 1.5km to go.

  228. 17:26:00 BST

    He might have the gap he needs to take the stage and the yellow jersey.

  229. 17:26:10 BST

    They're slowing down behind.

  230. 17:26:23 BST

    Can Nibali hang on?

  231. 17:26:49 BST

    Nibali has taken his chance so well but can he hang on?

  232. 17:27:32 BST

    Nibali takes the win.

  233. 17:28:03 BST

    He points to his national champs jersey but he'll be in yellow tonight.

  234. 17:28:47 BST

    Froome and Rui Costa had a gap on the rest of the chase but they were caught before the line. It looked like Van Avernaet might have been second.

  235. 17:36:39 BST

    Van Avermaet was second with Kwiatkowski in third. Nibali has a 2 second gap at the finish and now moves into the yellow jersey, with a lead over Peter Sagan.

  236. 17:42:01 BST

    A thrilling stage into Sheffield with a number of GC contenders, Contador, Froome, van Garderen, Talansky, and of course Nibali on the front foot.

  237. 17:42:12 BST

    1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 5:08:36
    2 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:02
    3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
    4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
    5 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Belisol
    6 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica Greenedge
    7 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin - Sharp
    8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling
    9 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
    10 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale

  238. 17:42:36 BST

    Sagan will be questioning his tactics but everyone was expecting him to chase every move.

  239. 17:42:45 BST

    General classification after stage 2
    1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 9:52:43
    2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale 0:00:02
    3 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
    4 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica Greenedge
    5 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
    6 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling
    7 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
    8 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo
    9 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
    10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team

  240. 17:50:25 BST

    Sagan moves into the green jersey though for his efforts as we see Nibali and then the Cannondale rider on the podium.

  241. 17:54:54 BST

    Nibali the first Italian in yellow since Nocentini in 2009.

  242. 18:11:50 BST

    You can find our race gallery for the stage, right here.

  243. 18:23:56 BST

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) takes stage two of the Tour de France

  244. 18:24:21 BST

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) leads the Tour de France

  245. 18:41:44 BST

    You can find our full report, results and photos, here now.