Tour de France cycling.

first_imgKittel wins stage 2 as Froome and Thomas crashGERMANY’s Marcel Kittel won a sprint finish to take the second stage of the Tour de France as Britain’s Geraint Thomas retained the yellow jersey.Defending champion Chris Froome crashed in the wet conditions 30km from the end, but finished without losing any of the advantage he gained over his rivals on stage one.Mark Cavendish was “happy” to finish fourth after a bout of glandular fever.Thomas, who crashed along with Froome, leads Stefan Kung by five seconds.The Welshman, who won the opening time trial on Saturday and finished in the peloton on Sunday, said: “We were all in a decent position, but a few guys came past us pretty quickly and slid and we all just went down.“We got up pretty quickly though. Anything can happen and I wouldn’t take anything for granted. Tomorrow is another day and we will be doing all we can for Froome.”Three-time champion Froome was one of a number of riders involved in the crash as the peloton came off a roundabout during the 203.5km ride from Dusseldorf to Liege, Belgium.He was paced back to the peloton by former world champion and Team Sky team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski but then immediately raised his hand, indicating to his team car that something was wrong.He lost more time changing his bike but Kwiatkowski again waited to help Froome catch up.Asked if he had injured himself, Froome replied: “No. I just lost a little bit of skin from my backside.“That’s the nature of the race. We know in slippery conditions like that, every time the race comes on there’s a big risk something could happen and today there was just a touch of wheels, or someone slid just a few wheels ahead of me, and at those speeds you just can’t avoid it.“I think a few of us went down but thankfully everybody’s OK and got to the finish all right without losing any time to our rivals, so that’s the main thing.”Froome remains sixth, 12 seconds behind Thomas, but crucially 35 seconds ahead of Richie Porte and 36 clear of Nairo Quintana, two of his main rivals for the overall win.Three-time champion Froome was one of a number of riders involved in the crash as the peloton came off a roundabout during the 203.5km ride from Dusseldorf to Liege, Belgium.He was paced back to the peloton by former world champion and Team Sky team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski but then immediately raised his hand, indicating to his team car that something was wrong.He lost more time changing his bike but Kwiatkowski again waited to help Froome catch up.Asked if he had injured himself, Froome replied: “No. I just lost a little bit of skin from my backside.“That’s the nature of the race. We know in slippery conditions like that, every time the race comes on there’s a big risk something could happen and today there was just a touch of wheels, or someone slid just a few wheels ahead of me, and at those speeds you just can’t avoid it.“I think a few of us went down but thankfully everybody’s OK and got to the finish all right without losing any time to our rivals, so that’s the main thing.”Froome remains sixth, 12 seconds behind Thomas, but crucially 35 seconds ahead of Richie Porte and 36 clear of Nairo Quintana, two of his main rivals for the overall win.(BBC Sport)last_img read more