If today’s second stage of the Tour de France was the so-called calm before the storm, then tomorrow’s pavé-fest is going to be off the Beaufort scale.


Comeback man Sylvain Chavanel won this afternoon in Spa, claiming the maillot jaune in the process, as the last remnant of a long and brave breakaway on the rain-soaked roads of the Ardennes.



The win comes just over three months after Chavanel fractured his skull in a crash in Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Ironically, it was over several of La Doyenne’s climbs that the Tour de France was today fought – and nearly fragmented, due to crashes.



The Quick Step rider was part of the day’s significant early breakaway, which also included teammate Jerome Pineau, Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing Team), Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre-Farnese), Rein Taarame (Cofidis), Sebastien Turgot (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Omega Pharma-Lotto pair Jurgen Roelandts and Matthew Lloyd.



While fellow Frenchman Pineau went on to take the King of the Mountains jersey, Chavanel capitalised on bunch hestiation after the day’s talking point, a big crash on the descent of the Cote de Stockeu, 30 kilometres from the finish.



Contenders crash


Several contenders hit the deck on the treacherous section, including Lance Armstrong and Bradley Wiggins. However, Andy Schleck was the worst-affected favourite.



For a moment, the Saxo Bank rider’s Tour hopes looked to be shattered as he clutched his right arm. However, joined by several Saxo Bank teammates and brother Frank in a fierce pursuit, Schleck closed a three-minute gap to a slowed bunch at the top of the last climb, the Cote de Rosier.



Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Transitions) and yesterday’s stage winner Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) were not so fortunate, finishing over thirteen minutes down.



Tyler Farrar finished further back, and has been taken to hospital for X-rays.



Peloton protest

After coolling their pace to allow the chasers back on, the peloton then fanned out across the road and rode tempo to the finish in Spa, crossing the line without contesting the sprint as a form of protest.



In front, resilient Chavanel capitalised on the chaos to take stage victory. After escaping with Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto) on the Stockeu, their slender 45-second advantage surged towards two minutes as the bunch hesitated.



That was all the invitation Chavanel needed. He dropped his companion 18 kilometres from the finish, and rode over the day’s last climb, the Cote du Rosier, and alone into Spa to take an emotional victory and his first maillot jaune.



The weather forecast for tomorrow’s third stage between Wanze and Arenberg, which encompasses six sectors of pave in the last 30 kilometres, is sunny. However, after today’s muted finale, it remains to be seen how the bunch will ride it.

Cycling Weekly will be covering Tuesday’s stage three with live text updates

RESULTS

Tour de France 2010, stage two: Brussels-Spa, 201km

1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 4-40-48


2. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 3-56

3. Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Milram

4. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Katusha

5. Christian Knees (Ger) Milram

6. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto

7. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team

8. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Milram

9. Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Francaise des Jeux

10. Bernhard Eisel (Aut) HTC-Columbia all same time

British riders/others

17. Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Cervelo

80. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky

95. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky

101. Steve Cummings (GBr) Team Sky

114. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Transitions

148. Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-Columbia at 9-49

151. Charly Wegelius (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto

154. Christian Vande Velde (Usa) Garmin-Transitions

161. Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Cervelo at 13-37

191. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions at 19-03



General classification after stage two


1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 10-01-25

2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Saxo Bank at 2-57

3. Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Columbia at 3-07

4. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Transitions at 3-17

5. Lance Armstrong (USA) Team RadioShack at 3-19

6. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky at 3-20

7. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana at 3-24

8. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack at 3-25

9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky at 3-29

10. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Milram at 3-32



Points classification: Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step

King of the Mountains: Jerome Pineau (Fra) Quick Step

Young riders classification: Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Columbia

Fabian Cancellara, Tour de France 2010 stage 2



Fabian Cancellara

Team Sky chase, Tour de France 2010 stage 2



Team Sky chases

Sylvain Chavanel wins, Tour de France 2010 stage 2



Sylvain Chavanel wins

Peloton finish together, Tour de France 2010 stage 2



The bunch roll in together – no sprinting

Sylvain Chavanel wins, Tour de France 2010 stage 2



Lion King: Sylvain Chavanel takes the lead

Tour de France 2010: Latest news

The Feed Zone: News and views (July 5)

Sky banks on Thomas ahead of cobbled stage

Cavendish’s sprint train weakened with Hansen out

Armstrong under fire as Landis allegations reach mainstream

Team Sky’s decision to put Wiggins off early back fires

Millar and Thomas hold their nerve in Rotterdam rain

Armstrong defiant in wake of latest revelations

Thomas looks to prologue and sporting new stripes|

Florencio kicked out of Cervelo team on eve of Tour

Tour teams presented in Rotterdam: What the riders said

Andy Schleck faces rough ride over Tour cobbles

Riis: Tour is the goal for Schlecks despite sponsor problems

Armstrong on Arenberg: There will be carnage

Cavendish set for green jersey battle at the Tour

Hunt and Lloyd look forward to making their Tour debuts

Tour de France 2010: Stage reports



Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters



Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win

Tour de France 2010: Photos



Stage one gallery



Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos



Stage one video highlights



Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide



Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index



Official start list, with race numbers



Brits at the Tour 2010



Tout team guide



Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean



Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures



Tour team presentation, Rotterdam



Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special

 

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  • Big Al

    Ridiculous. Feel very sorry for Hushovd who was racing all day for the green jersey, and was looking good for a stage win at one point. This sets a precedent for tomorrow………………….are they not there to race!?!?

  • Oli

    These guys are supposed to be professionals. Hell, I could have kept up with them at the end. Pathetic. The only good thing about it was that Cav did not lose any points. Get a grip and get racing. A slightly damp downhill section is no excuse to treat the Tour, or any other race, like a joke. If they don’t want to race, then don’t sign on!

  • Cavologuardi

    ‘But itsa mein amico, Herr Andy, he ‘as a fallengen ona der descenden… schnell, achtung, no andiamo!’ For shame, Spartacus! Poor Thor.

    Nine months we’ve been waiting for this. Nine months! With breath baited. I’m a RIDER you’re all supposed to be RACERS… what a bunch of pansies.

    If Bert had come down Larry and the Pacemakers would’ve been off.

    p.s. I don’t think Cav is gonna make it to gay Paris

  • Paul G

    I doubt it was entirely down to Fabien Cancellara alone to sit up- besides, considering how many went down, to not take advantage of the situation was a decent, sportsmanslike gesture from the whole peloton… focus on the negative if you like though- :)

  • Brian

    Congrats Chavanel! That’s procycling. Cancellara & co made the Tour looks like a charity event. If they don’t want to ride they should stay home. I don’t understand why the race jury allows these marrons to neutralize the race. Sad day for the Tour. I fear the worst for tomorrow.

  • Baz

    Well done, Chavanel; three cheers for him and none at all for Cancellara. What was he playing at? As Liggett and Boardman made clear on ITV4, pro riders are used to these roads and conditions, it’s all part of the Tour. Cycling fans want to see riders racing not protesting over nothing. One of the worst sights ever on the Tour was the stage finish, many years ago, when Greg Lemond forced teammate Bernard Hinault to ride over the line with him, hand in hand, after they’d blitzed the rest of the field. Today’s blanket finish was almost as bad. The race jury should fine Fabian a bucketful of Swiss francs. But they won’t.