Chris Froome profits as Peter Sagan takes yellow jersey on second stage of Tour de France

 
Frank Dalleres
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Le Tour de France 2016 - Stage Two
Sagan’s victory came after a battle with Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe in the closing stages (Source: Getty)

Sprinter Peter Sagan claimed the Tour de France leader’s yellow jersey for the first time in his career on a good day for Britain’s defending champion Chris Froome.

Slovakian Sagan snatched the win on an uphill finish to stage two in Normandy to replace Manxman Mark Cavendish at the head of the general classification.

Team Sky’s Froome and Movistar’s Nairo Quintana both finished 14 seconds further back, but two of the other main title contenders, Alberto Contador and Ritchie Porte, both lost significant time.

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Sagan’s Tinkoff team-mate Contador was 48 seconds off the pace after crashing for second time in as many days in another early blow to the Spaniard’s quest for a third and final Tour crown.

Froome’s former Team Sky colleague Porte, now spearheading the BMC team, was held up by a puncture and finished one minute and 45 seconds behind the two-time winner.

World road race champion Sagan admitted his fifth stage win had come as a surprise because he mistakenly believed there were other riders still ahead of him.

“I am very surprised I won because I was thinking there were still two guys out front and then I finished and I found out I won,” he said. “I’m very happy.”

Sagan’s victory came after a battle with Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe in the closing stages. The Etixx-Quick-Step rider took second, with Quintana’s Movistar team-mate Alejandro Valverde third.

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