Peter Sagan wins Stage 2 to hold early lead at Tour de France
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LA ROCHE-SUR-YON, France (AP) — World champion Peter Sagan won a sprint finish to claim the second stage of the Tour de France and the race’s overall lead on Sunday, while Chris Froome had a calmer ride after his tumble in the first leg.
Sagan won the mostly flat 182.5-kilometer (113.4-mile) leg from Mouilleron-Saint-Germain to the department capital of La Roche-sur-Yon in just over four hours. The Slovakian rider for Bora-Hansgrohe edged Sonny Colbrelli at the finish line after a short uphill push.
Sagan, the three-time reigning world champion, came up short in the opening stage’s sprint when he crossed second behind winner Fernando Gaviria.
Sagan claimed the yellow jersey after taking a six-second lead over Gaviria, who was involved in a group pileup inside the three-kilometer zone that neutralizes the impact of accidents.
A year ago, Sagan was kicked out of the Tour after race organizers ruled he caused a crash that broke the shoulder blade of Mark Cavendish in a sprint finish to end Stage 4.
Froome, who fell into a ditch near the end of Saturday’s opening stage, arrived safely with most of the peloton.
Froome is 1:07 behind Sagan’s leading time as he pursues a fifth Tour title just days after being cleared of doping allegations.
The Tour remains in western France for Stage 3 on Monday with its first team time trial since 2015. The 35.5-kilometer loop starts and finishes in Cholet.
The three-week Tour ends July 29 in Paris.