Competition
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Froome escapes from crash unscathed as Kittel wins stage

Stage

Düsseldorf - Liege (203 Km)

  • Km to finish

    0

  • Llana

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Tour de France 2017

Froome escapes from crash unscathed as Kittel wins stage

Reigning champion Chris Froome emerged unscathed, but for some missing skin, as Marcel Kittel won his 10th Tour de France stage on Sunday.

Reigning champion Chris Froome emerged unscathed, but for some missing skin, as Marcel Kittel won his 10th Tour de France stage on Sunday.

Crash hurt but Froome loses no time

Froome was caught up in a huge crash around 30km from the finish of the 203.5km second stage that left him with shredded shorts and needing to change bikes twice before latching back onto the peloton 10km later after a tense chase.

But after the finish of the second stage from Dusseldorf to Liege, the three-time winner insisted he was fine.

"No injury. I just lost a bit of skin on my backside," the Briton told ITV. "That's the nature of the race, in slippery conditions and at those speeds you can't avoid it.

"I'm so happy to get to the finish without losing any time to my rivals."

Cycling - The 104th Tour de France cycling race

Cycling - The 104th Tour de France cycling raceTeam Sky rider Chris Froome of Britain and BMC Racing rider Richie Porte of Australia during the stage.

His Sky team-mate and race leader Geraint Thomas also went down in that crash but recovered quickly to get to the finish and retain his hold on the yellow jersey.

"I'm not sure who was first down, myself and Froomey must have been in the top 10-15. Some guys went down in front of us, we had nowhere to go," said Thomas.

"So we hit the deck but just kind of slid. No damage at all, it took off a bit of skin but all good."

Sprinter chase resulted in crash

The crash happened as the sprinters' teams were trying to reel in the four escapees and that incident disrupted the charge, and almost gave the breakaway a chance to go all the way.

But once the sprint happened, it was a chaotic one with no-one's sprint train able to function and set up their leader.

Kittel celebrates after stage two of the 2017 Le Tour de France.

Kittel celebrates after stage two of the 2017 Le Tour de France.

"Our leadout wasn't perfect but other leadouts weren't either," said the burly German, who wept with joy after crossing the line.

"I tried to do my best but all sprinters were on their own today."

Demare, Greipel and Cavendish

Frenchman Arnaud Demare took second place with Andre Greipel of Germany third, and Briton Mark Cavendish fourth.

With king of the mountains points up for grabs just six kilometres into the stage, the attacks were launched from the gun as four riders escaped into the day's breakaway. American Taylor Phinney, in his first Tour, snatched the first mountain point atop the Grafenberg climb to put him in pole position to claim the polkadot jersey.

Frenchmen Thomas Boudat, Laurent Pichon and Yoann Offredo joined Phinney but the quartet never managed to eke out a lead of more than three and a half minutes in miserable, wet conditions. Their lead had stabilised at around two and a half minutes as they left Germany and entered Belgium, where things got even wetter, 145km into the stage.

They were close to being caught with around 30km left when a massive crash in the peloton took down a number of top riders, including Foome, Thomas, Australian Richie Porte and Frenchman Romain Bardet.

A Katusha rider working for Alexander Kristoff was the first to fall, taking down around 15-20 other riders too. Thomas was quickly back up and away but Froome needed to chase hard to get back to the peloton. And to compound matters, he was also forced into a bike change as he was trying to chase back.

Helped by his team-mates, Froome was back with the peloton with 20km to ride but his shorts were shredded.

Phinney took the honours on the second categorised climb to ensure he would wear the polkadot jersey on Monday but the breakaway stared to disintegrate.

Only Phinney and Offredo soldiered on with a 50sec lead over the peloton 10km from the end, but the dry roads favoured the chasers.

The game was finally up just over a kilometre from the finish at which point it was all down to the sprinters.

Provisional etapa

State of the race
Pos. Cyclist Team Time
1 Marcel Kittel GER EQS 4h 37:06
2 Arnaud Démare FRA FDJ + 00:00
3 André Greipel GER LTS + 00:00
4 Mark Cavendish GBR MTN + 00:00
5 Dylan Groenewegen NED TJL + 00:00
6 Sonny Colbrelli ITA TBM + 00:00
7 Ben Swift GBR UAE + 00:00
8 Nacer Bouhanni FRA COF + 00:00
9 Michael Matthews AUS SUN + 00:00
10 Peter Sagan SVK BOH + 00:00

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