Tour de France 2017: Froome survives peloton pile-up scare

 
Oliver Gill
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Team Sky was forced into a stressful chase to get back to the main pack (Source: Getty)

Defending champion Chris Froome survived a scare in today’s second stage of the Tour de France, after a huge crash sent many of Team Sky's riders sprawling.

Froome and race leader Geraint Thomas picked themselves up to finish in the main bunch. Thomas remains in the leader's yellow jersey.

The stage was won by Germany’s Marcel Kittel, out-sprinting Mark Cavendish who finished a creditable fourth. Fellow Briton Ben Swift finished seventh.

Read more: Thomas shocks favourites by winning Tour de France opener

The rain that plagued the riders yesterday returned on the 203.5km stage from Dusseldorf to Liege. With 30km to go, as riders jostled for position, a touch of wheels led to many riders hitting the deck.

“We knew it's slippery conditions… every time the race comes on there's a big risk something could happen and today there was just a touch of wheels, or someone slid just a few wheels ahead of me, and at those speeds you just can't avoid it," said Froome.

"No injuries, thankfully.

I just lost a little bit of skin on my backside. But that’s the nature of the race

The riders chased back on and the race finished with a mass sprint.

Thomas added: “We were all in a decent position, but a few guys came past us pretty quickly and slid and we all just went down.

"We got up pretty quickly though.”

Meanwhile, Cavendish was positive after the race despite being beaten. The Manxman, has won 30 stages at the Tour de France, second only to Eddy Merckx longstanding record of 34.

He said he was perfectly positioned in the sprint, sitting on eventual winner Kittel’s wheel.

“But when he went, I was just sprinting on his wheel… there’s no way I could have passed him.”

Cavendish’s training has been curtailed after contracting glandular fever earlier this year. He added:

It’s as expected really. I’m happy with that. With six weeks training, to get fourth, I can only be happy.

Read more: Skydiving? Millar reveals why Team Sky's days are far from numbered

Stage result

RANK RIDER TEAM TIMES GAP
1 KITTEL MARCEL QUICK - STEP FLOORS 04H 37' 06''
2 DEMARE ARNAUD FDJ 04H 37' 06'' 00' 00''
3 GREIPEL ANDRÉ LOTTO SOUDAL 04H 37' 06'' 00' 00''
4 CAVENDISH MARK TEAM DIMENSION DATA 04H 37' 06'' 00' 00''
5 GROENEWEGEN DYLAN TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO 04H 37' 06'' 00' 00''
6 COLBRELLI SONNY BAHRAIN - MERIDA 04H 37' 06'' 00' 00''
7 SWIFT BEN UAE TEAM EMIRATES 04H 37' 06'' 00' 00''
8 BOUHANNI NACER COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS 04H 37' 06'' 00' 00''
9 MATTHEWS MICHAEL TEAM SUNWEB 04H 37' 06'' 00' 00''
10 SAGAN PETER BORA - HANSGROHE 04H 37' 06'' 00' 00''

General classification

RANK RIDER (SURNAME, FIRST NAME) TEAM TIMES GAP
1 THOMAS GERAINT TEAM SKY 04H 53' 10''
2 KUENG STEFAN BMC RACING TEAM 04H 53' 15'' 00' 05''
3 KITTEL MARCEL QUICK - STEP FLOORS 04H 53' 16'' 00' 06''
4 KIRYIENKA VASILI TEAM SKY 04H 53' 17'' 00' 07''
5 TRENTIN MATTEO QUICK - STEP FLOORS 04H 53' 20'' 00' 10''
6 FROOME CHRISTOPHER TEAM SKY 04H 53' 22'' 00' 12''
7 VAN EMDEN JOS TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO 04H 53' 25'' 00' 15''
8 KWIATKOWSKI MICHAL TEAM SKY 04H 53' 25'' 00' 15''
9 BOASSON HAGEN EDVALD TEAM DIMENSION DATA 04H 53' 26'' 00' 16''
10 ARNDT NIKIAS TEAM SUNWEB 04H 53' 26'' 00' 16''

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