Tour de France stage 2: Bakelants wins

Jan Bakelants (RadioShack Leopard) won stage 2 of Tour de France from Bastia to Ajaccio, holding off the sprinters in a gripping finale.

Marcel Kittel (Argos Shimano) was unable to retain his yellow jersey with Bakelants' one-second advantage enough to seal the maillot jaune.

Bakelants broke clear in the final few kilometres of a pulsating stage with Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team), Gorka Izagirre (Euskaltel Euskadi), Manuele Mori (Lampre-Merida), Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM).

With the peloton breathing down their necks, Bakelants took off with a kilometre to go, and managed to hang on ahead of Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step).

"I could see in the final that it’s going to happen and I knew I would probably also take this yellow jersey. Maybe it will be the first and the last time in my career, but today I wear it. I saw in the last 500 meters that I still had a gap and I told myself, ‘Come on, hold this. It’s going to be the nicest day of your life!’ And then I did it,” he said.

This wasn't just a stage marked by Bakelants' late bid for glory. It had much more to it than that, with the Corsican countryside serving up a intricate and at times enthralling stage.

There was, of course, the customary break, shepherded clear by Lars Boom (Belkin) once again. The Dutchman was joined by David Veilleux (Europcar), Blel Kadri (AG2R) and Ruben Perez (Euskaltel), with the foursome collaborating as the race travelled south.

On the first climb of the day of the Col de Bellagranajo, the gap had levelled off at two minutes. Boom secured the KOM points come the summit, outsmarting his breakaway companions with a well timed sprint.

But in similar fashion to stage 1, the peloton was in no mood to take any chances and had reduced the gap to 30 seconds on its prey.

It was too soon for the predator to catch its prey, and by the time of the second climb, the Col de la Serra the gap had grown out to 1:15.

Realising that the gap was almost up, only Kadri decided to press on. His advantage held at just 30 seconds, but a mechanical problem caused his lead shrink to less than 10 seconds on the slopes of Col de Vizzavona, as FDJ, perhaps with Marc Madiot's anger at yesterday's mishap with the Orica bus, still ringing in their ears, leading the bunch.

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma - Quick Step) and race leader Marcel Kittel (Argos Shimano) were among those dropped, with the stage 1 winner quickly losing three minutes. Three minutes soon became five, and five quickly ran out to 10.

Just to emphasise the sprinters' limited chances of success, Pierre Rolland threw down a probing attack in search of his first mountain points. The Europcar leader quickly dispatched with Kadri by the summit, and moved into the lead of the King of the Mountains competition with Kardi tied in second.

Rolland's aggressive move prompted Sky into action with last year's all conquering cadre setting a furious pace on the descent. BMC allied with the British team, indicating their trust in Philippe Gilbert for the finish, with Rolland dragged back with around 45 kilometres to go.

Cannondale, who has been present in the pace setting duties before the climbs, rose once more, Peter Sagan clearly determined to make up for stage 1.

With the final climb of the Côte du Salario looming the nerves in the peloton began to fray. Sky, Lampre, Garmin, BMC and Canndonale all vied for position at the head of the field. The climb itself was no more than a kilometre long, but its steep pitches were enough to change the dynamic of the finale.

It was Juan Antonio Flecha and Cyril Gautier who attacked on the first slopes of the climb as behind them the GC contenders saved their powder. Richie Porte set pace for Sky with Cadel Evans (BMC) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) all in close quarters.

Then Froome attacked. It was perhaps no more than a test, but the move itself was impressive enough. Evans led the chase and when Flecha was caught, only Gautier remained at the head of the race once Sky’s leader was reeled in.

Cannondale were able to neutralise Gautier's attack, but it paved the way for Bakelants, Fuglsang, Izagirre, Mori, Chavanel and Flecha to move clear.

All of France sighed with relief for it was Chavanel's 34th birthday and surely the experienced Frenchman could finish off the job. Inside three kilometres, it still looked likely, the Omega rider hunched over the drops as he dragged his companions to their fate.

However, Bakelants had not read the script. Instead, with the peloton within touching distance, it was the RadioShack rider and not Chavanel who seized the opportunity and has he dove through the final bends and pushed for the line the peloton could only watch as the Belgian picked up the biggest win of his career.

“Coming in the last 10km we were quite a big group and I cannot win in a sprint. I had to gamble and go. When we were six in the finale I knew if everybody gave 100 percent that it was possible to go to the finish. It felt so easy in the break and every time I went to the front, I felt like I rode faster than the other guys. I don’t know, maybe I was just stronger than the others. In the end I was thinking, ‘Come on! Are we going to ride and be the first six riders or are we just going to wait for the bunch to come back and see another win of Sagan?’"

"I kept the gap and in the radio they were shouting for me to go. I was pushing my 11 and it didn’t look good but I went fast. I just kept pushing the pedals. And when I looked back and saw I had it, I said, ‘I’m going to win! I’m going to win a stage in the Tour de France!’ I’ve had to wait five years but what a victory. It’s hard to believe but it’s the second day of the Tour so now our nerves are settled. It’s incredible.”



Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack Leopard3:43:11
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale0:00:01
3Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 3 - Cell 2
5Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky ProcyclingRow 4 - Cell 2
6Julien Simon (Fra) SojasunRow 5 - Cell 2
7Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdgeRow 7 - Cell 2
9Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 8 - Cell 2
10Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 10 - Cell 2
12Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team EuropcarRow 11 - Cell 2
13David Millar (GBr) Garmin-SharpRow 12 - Cell 2
14Bram Tankink (Ned) Belkin Procycling TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 14 - Cell 2
16Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 15 - Cell 2
17Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel EuskadiRow 16 - Cell 2
18Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.frRow 18 - Cell 2
20Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 19 - Cell 2
21Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack LeopardRow 20 - Cell 2
22Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto BelisolRow 23 - Cell 2
25Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 24 - Cell 2
26Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 25 - Cell 2
27Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 27 - Cell 2
29Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-SharpRow 28 - Cell 2
30Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 29 - Cell 2
31Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 30 - Cell 2
32Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel EuskadiRow 31 - Cell 2
33Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team EuropcarRow 32 - Cell 2
34Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 34 - Cell 2
36Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 35 - Cell 2
37Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (CRc) Movistar TeamRow 36 - Cell 2
38Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 37 - Cell 2
39Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team KatushaRow 38 - Cell 2
40Jean Marc Marino (Fra) SojasunRow 39 - Cell 2
41Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 40 - Cell 2
42Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 42 - Cell 2
44Brice Feillu (Fra) SojasunRow 43 - Cell 2
45Jean Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 44 - Cell 2
46Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel EuskadiRow 45 - Cell 2
47Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro TeamRow 46 - Cell 2
48Rui Alberto Costa (Por) Movistar TeamRow 47 - Cell 2
49Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar TeamRow 48 - Cell 2
50Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Procycling TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 50 - Cell 2
52Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.frRow 51 - Cell 2
53Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack LeopardRow 52 - Cell 2
54Richie Porte (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 53 - Cell 2
55Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel EuskadiRow 54 - Cell 2
56Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 55 - Cell 2
57Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel EuskadiRow 56 - Cell 2
58Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team KatushaRow 57 - Cell 2
59Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 59 - Cell 2
61Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing TeamRow 60 - Cell 2
62Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.frRow 61 - Cell 2
63Anthony Delaplace (Fra) SojasunRow 62 - Cell 2
64Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 63 - Cell 2
65Moreno Moser (Ita) CannondaleRow 64 - Cell 2
66Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 65 - Cell 2
67Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) SojasunRow 66 - Cell 2
68Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-MeridaRow 67 - Cell 2
69Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 68 - Cell 2
70Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin Procycling TeamRow 69 - Cell 2
71Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack LeopardRow 70 - Cell 2
72Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack LeopardRow 71 - Cell 2
73Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Team KatushaRow 72 - Cell 2
74Andy Schleck (Lux) RadioShack LeopardRow 73 - Cell 2
75Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 74 - Cell 2
76Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 75 - Cell 2
77Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 76 - Cell 2
78Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 77 - Cell 2
79Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 78 - Cell 2
80Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica GreenEdgeRow 79 - Cell 2
81Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 80 - Cell 2
82Maxime Mederel (Fra) SojasunRow 81 - Cell 2
83Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 82 - Cell 2
84Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 83 - Cell 2
85John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 84 - Cell 2
86Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-MeridaRow 85 - Cell 2
87Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-SharpRow 86 - Cell 2
88Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Procycling TeamRow 87 - Cell 2
89Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Procycling TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
90Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 89 - Cell 2
91Jonathan Hivert (Fra) SojasunRow 90 - Cell 2
92Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 91 - Cell 2
93Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ.frRow 92 - Cell 2
94Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale0:01:24
95Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack Leopard0:04:07
96Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 95 - Cell 2
97Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ.frRow 96 - Cell 2
98Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 97 - Cell 2
99Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 98 - Cell 2
100Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 99 - Cell 2
101Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack Leopard0:05:39
102Laurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack LeopardRow 101 - Cell 2
103Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Team KatushaRow 102 - Cell 2
104Julien El Fares (Fra) SojasunRow 103 - Cell 2
105Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 104 - Cell 2
106Cyril Lemoine (Fra) SojasunRow 105 - Cell 2
107Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 106 - Cell 2
108Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 107 - Cell 2
109Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team KatushaRow 108 - Cell 2
110Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Sky ProcyclingRow 109 - Cell 2
111Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 110 - Cell 2
112Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 111 - Cell 2
113Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 112 - Cell 2
114Kristjan Koren (Slo) CannondaleRow 113 - Cell 2
115Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:08:35
116David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar0:09:06
117Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-SharpRow 116 - Cell 2
118Maciek Bodnar (Pol) CannondaleRow 117 - Cell 2
119Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin Procycling Team0:12:44
120Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 119 - Cell 2
121Egoitz Garcia Etxegibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 120 - Cell 2
122Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 121 - Cell 2
123Alan Marangoni (Ita) CannondaleRow 122 - Cell 2
124Brian Vandborg (Den) CannondaleRow 123 - Cell 2
125José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 124 - Cell 2
126Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 125 - Cell 2
127Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 126 - Cell 2
128Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin Procycling TeamRow 127 - Cell 2
129Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto BelisolRow 128 - Cell 2
130Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 129 - Cell 2
131Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 130 - Cell 2
132André Greipel (Ger) Lotto BelisolRow 131 - Cell 2
133Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing TeamRow 132 - Cell 2
134John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 133 - Cell 2
135Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 134 - Cell 2
136Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 135 - Cell 2
137Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 136 - Cell 2
138Yohan Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 137 - Cell 2
139Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel EuskadiRow 138 - Cell 2
140Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:17:35
141Tom Veelers (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 140 - Cell 2
142Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 141 - Cell 2
143Johannes Frohlinger (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 142 - Cell 2
144Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 143 - Cell 2
145Stuart O'grady (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 144 - Cell 2
146Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 145 - Cell 2
147Lieuwe Westra (Ned Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 146 - Cell 2
148Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Team KatushaRow 147 - Cell 2
149Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto BelisolRow 148 - Cell 2
150Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Sky ProcyclingRow 149 - Cell 2
151Gregory Henderson (NZl) Lotto BelisolRow 150 - Cell 2 </