tdfTour de Francetour de france 2017

Tour 2017: Kittel Wins Stage 2

Marcel Kittel sprinted to victory in Stage 2 of the 2017 Tour de France, beating his main rivals in a thrilling sprint finish in Liege and taking the green jersey.

Kittel Green Jersey Tour de France 2017

The first road stage of the 2017 Tour left Dusseldorf in the pouring rain – a theme which could continue throughout the entire day right into Liege. The slippery conditions on the slick roads caused plenty of cause for concern – especially when Chris Froome, Richie Porte and Romain Bardet all went down on a corner, skidding into the kerb when their bikes went from under them. All three GC contenders were able to continue and finished the stage in the bunch.

Despite the driving rain several riders still formed a breakaway early on in the stage with Taylor Phinney (Cannondale-Drapac), Thomas Boudat (Direct-Energie), Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo-Oscaro) and Yoann Offredi (Wanty-Gobert) going away. The quartet never had a convincing lead as the sprint teams were marshalling the time gap closely, none of them wanting to miss the first sprint-finish opportunity of the race.

Tour de France 2017 Stage 2 Profile

Phinney attacked the group to take the points on the category 4 Côte de Grafenberg and move into the leader of the KOM jersey with the first points of the race. After Boudat took full points at the intermediate sprint in Mönchengladbach, the sprint teams behind formed up to contest the remaining points. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Michael Matthews (Sunweb) took the first three positions and the majority of the remaining points.

With 30km to go and with the race now in the cycling heartlands of Belgium the crash with the GC riders occurred. A dozen riders went down on a curve with a traffic island and were left behind as the peloton continued onwards, the sprint teams pushing the pace with the breakaway around 2′ up the road. Team Sky dropped back in force to help Froome get back up to the peloton, also benefitting Porte and Bardet, and they got back into the bunch with 24km to go.

The quartet reached the final climb – the category 4 Côte d’Olne – with their lead still around 2′ as Phinney and Pichon sprinted for the points with Phinney taking them on the line, ensuring he will be pulling on the polka-dot jersey in Liege.

Despite the gap to the break never getting more than 3’30” the peloton left it very late to make the catch. Phinney had decided to continue attacking after the climb and was joined by Offredo a couple of km’s later as the other two dropped back.

With 30″ going into the final 5km – a lead which stayed intact until just over 3km to go – it looked as though the peloton might have misjudged the catch; but they caught the two leaders with 1km to go as they were gearing up for the sprint.

With all the main sprinters present it was Bora-Hansgrohe who led the way initially but was unable to get his sprint going as Andre Greipel moved to the front with Colbrelli close on his wheel. Cavendish was a few wheels back in the wrong position as Kittel came around Colbrelli’s wheel at the perfect time to take the win on the line.

Check out our route guide for more information about the rest of the race.

Tour de France 2017 Stage 2: Dusseldorf>Liege 203.5km

Position Name (Team – Nationality) Time
1 Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step – Ger) 4:37:06″″
2 Arnaud Demare (FDJ – Fra)  s.t.
3 Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal – Ger)  s.t.
4 Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data – GBr)  s.t.
5 Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo – Ned)  s.t.
6 Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida – Ita)  s.t.
7 Ben Swift (UAE – GBr)  s.t.
8 Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis – Fra) s.t.
9 Michael Matthews (Sunweb – Aus)  s.t.
10 Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe – Svk) s.t.

General Classification

Position Name (Team – Nationality) Time
1 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky – GBr) 16:04″
2 Stefan Kung (BMC – Sui) +5″
3. Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step – Ger) +6″
4 Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky – Blr) +7″
5 Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step – Ita) +10″
6 Chris Froome (Team Sky – GBr) +12″
7 Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky – Pol) +15″
8 Jos Van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo – Ned) s.t.
9 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data – Nor) +16″
10 Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb – Ger) s.t.

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