GIRO d’Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali struck late to beat the Tour de France favourites to victory on the second stage in Sheffield.
Nibali escaped reigning champion Chris Froome and two-time winner Alberto Contador during the final two kilometres to claim the first Tour stage win of his career yesterday. The Astana rider also took over the general classification lead, meaning he will wear the yellow jersey on today’s third stage, which ends in central London.
Froome and Contador finished two seconds behind the Italian and trail by the same margin in the overall standings.
Earlier, British sprinter Mark Cavendish confirmed his withdrawal from the race, having dislocated his shoulder in a crash during the climax to Saturday’s first stage. The 25-time Tour stage winner said he may need surgery and is a doubt for next month’s Commonwealth Games.
WHERE AND WHEN TO CATCH THE TOUR DE FRANCE IN LONDON TODAY
■ Stage three begins in Cambridge at noon and passes through Essex before entering London via an Epping Forest sprint (2.40pm). The leaders should reach the Olympic Park at around 3.10pm and pass through the City – along Lower Thames Street – shortly after 3.30pm, before finishing on the Mall.