La Roche-sur-Yon (France) July 8 (IANS) Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) secured the coveted yellow jersey with a photo-finish victory in a crash-ridden stage 2 of the Tour de France road race on Sunday.
Stage 1 winning Colombian Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step) took a tumble on a corner with just three kilometers to go, opening up the final sprint for Sagan, who battled it out with Italian Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Frenchman Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) as the leading pack broke towards the finish line, reported Efe.
“In the end, I was expecting something easier, but it was a little bit tough,” the 28-year-old Slovakian told the Tour de France’s in-house media team after the race.
“Big thanks to all my teammates,” he added.
He stopped the clock on the 182.5-kilometer (113.4-mile) flat stage from Mouilleron-Saint-Germain to La Roche-sur-Yon in France’s northwest Pays de la Loire at 4 hours, 6 minutes and 37 seconds, giving him a 6 second lead over Gaviria in the general classifications.
Two riders were forced to abandon the race.
Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez (UCI ProTeam Astana) crashed hard on the 40-kilometer mark and injured his shoulder, while Tsgabu Grmay (Trek Segafredo) was forced to leave with abdominal pains.
Monday’s stage 3 of the race is a 35.5 km time trial in Cholet.