The 2017 Tour de France is already underway and is heading towards its third stage in the Belgian town of Verviers.
The 3,540km (2,200-mile) race started in Germany with a 14km individual time trial. It ventures through Belgium and Luxembourg before heading into France.
Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) won the second sprint stage of the Tour de France and tenth of his career as he held off French champion Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal). Marck Cavendish (Dimension Data) was fourth as he continues to recover from Esptair-Barr Virus.
The sprint day got complicated by a crash on a roundabout where Chris Froome, Romain Bardet, and Richie Porte all fell. While there were no time losses for the general classification riders, they couldn’t avoid the minor scrapes and the bruises from the incident.
First Stage: Dusseldorf, 14km (8.7 miles) individual time trial
- Geraint Thomas produced a stunning time trial to win the opening stage of the tour.
- Thomas covered the course in 16 minutes four seconds to claim his first Grand Tour stage and pull on the yellow jersey for the first time.
- Chris Froome finished sixth and gained an early advantage on his general classification rivals. Overall contender Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was forced to abandon after crashing heavily into a barrier in wet conditions.
Second Stage: Dusseldorf – Liege, 203.5km (126.5 miles)
- Germany’s Marcel Kittel won a sprint finish to take the second stage of the Tour de France.
- A 10-second time bonus for winning the stage lifted Kittel to third in the overall standings, six seconds behind Thomas.
- 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 advantages he gained over his rivals on stage one.
- Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas were both caught up in a massive, pile-up on wet, slippery roads 22 kilometers from the finish, although both men regained the field with minimal scratches. Nothing to worry about!
Stage two results:
- Marcel Kittel (Ger/Quick-Step Floors) 4hrs 37mins 06secs
- Arnaud Demare (Fra/FDJ) same time
- Andre Greipel (Ger/Lotto-Soudal)
- Mark Cavendish (GB/Dimension Data)
- Dylan Groenewegen (Ned/Team Lotto NL-Jumbo)
- Sonny Colbrelli (Ita/Bahrain)
- Ben Swift (GB/UAE Team Emirates)
- Nacer Bouhanni (Fra/Cofidis)
- Michael Matthews (Aus/Sunweb)
- Peter Sagan (Svk/BORA)
Stage three preview
The 2017 Tour de France is all set to enter into the Grand Est region via Luxembourg in its stage three. Challengers will face a new level of competency in the Belgian town of Verviers. The third stage will finish in Longwy. The Punchers will tackle the Cote des Religieuses, a short but fierce hill that should weed out the sprinters.
Expect sprinters like Marcel Kittel, Mark Cavendish, and Andre Greipel to take a backseat at the end of the stage, as a short, steep climb to the finish at the Longwy Citadel should determine the stage winner. But it would be a perfect day for the stars of the Spring Classics, versatile riders who can handle the hills and still have enough left in the tank to outmuscle their opponents in an uphill sprint. That means it’s a perfect day for men like Quick-Step’s Philippe Gilbert, Bora-Hansgrohe’s Peter Sagan, BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet, and Team Sunweb’s Michael Matthews.
There will be an exciting battle for the yellow jersey. Geraint Thomas and his team will try to defend the jersey in the third stage too.
DSPORT will telecast the tour highlights on the day after the each stage event.