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Page last updated at 10:44 GMT, Monday, 5 July 2010 11:44 UK

Tour de France stage two as it happened


Stage 2 - Brussels to Spa, 201km

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By Rob Hodgetts


1634: Chavanel also took the green jersey for points leader after grabbing some intermediate sprint points. The Frenchman came home in four hours 40 minutes, with most of the rest three minutes 56 back. Some stragglers, including Britain's Mark Cavendish, were a bit further back. For more details, read our full race report. Thanks for reading and don't forget to come back for stage three on Tuesday.

1624: Here's the new general classification:
1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step
2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Saxo Bank at 2'57"
3. Tony Martin (Ger) HTC at 3'07"
4. David Millar (Gbr) Garmin at 3'17"
5. Lance Armstrong (US) Radio Shack at 3'19".

Polka dot jersey
1620: "Happiest day in my career," says stage winner Sylvain Chavanel. His team-mate Jerome Pineau will take the first polka dot jersey for the King of the Mountains competition. But there is more to come from this stage after the peloton's bizarre finish.

1617: Maxime Monfort is clinging on in second but the main peloton are just rolling up behind him. Looks like they are not contesting the finish at all and there's some conversations going on among the leaders. They are cross the line together in a show of unity, perhaps in protest at the conditions of the stage.

Yellow jersey
1614: Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel of the Belgian Quick Step team hangs on to clinch his second Tour de France stage win and take the leader's yellow jersey. He went clear in an eight-man breakaway after 10km and has been out front ever since as his rivals fell away. He zips up his jersey, punches the air, kisses his fingers and sits up on the line with a huge grin on his face.

1610: Chavanel is going to end up in yellow as the peloton are coasting out the back and he pushes his lead to more than three minutes.

The sun is out
1606: Roads are drying out now as Chavanel hammers away at the front with eight kilometres to go.

1557: Sylvain Chavanel has a lead of two minutes 38 seconds with 15km to go. Can he hang on? The Schlecks are back with the pack and yellow jersey wearer Fabian Cancellara has been instrumental in slowing down the pace and allowing the field to come together. Top-notch diplomacy on Cancellara's part as he could have nipped off and left them. He's eyeing the future.

1555: The Armstrong, Contador group rejoins Cancellara's main peloton. But the Schleck brothers are still out the back and gritting their teeth as they try to keep their Tour hopes alive.

1552: From 5 live on Twitter : "Can see Wiggins in the second group with Armstrong and Contador."

1550: Chavanel attacks Roelandts and goes clear on his own. Contador stops to change his bike. He was in the Armstrong group 2' 53" back from the main pack with Maxime Monfort third behind the two men clear. Both Andy and Frank Schleck are way out the back.

1546: The Armstrong group is about 30 seconds behind the main group of yellow jersey holder Fabian Cancellara. Chavanel and Roelandts still out in front, about a minute and a half clear. No sign of Wiggins.

1543: Aerial pictures of Lance Armstrong show he has scrapes on his back and must have gone down somewhere. Contador is in the group too. Unclear where they are in the field though.

1540: Chavanel and Roelandts have pushed their lead out to a minute and a half, while Saxo Bank team leader Andy Schleck has lost more than four minutes after his tumble. By the way, if you refresh our page, you'll get 5 live commentary.

1538: Out front, Roelandts digs deep to catch Chavanel and the pair are clear of the carnage behind.

1534: One of the race contenders Andy Schleck has taken a tumble on the wet roads and only gets back on his bike slowly. The field is in chaos as everywhere there are small pockets of riders on the deck. Alessandro Petacchi, Sunday's stage winner, is another down.

1527: Chavanel takes up the lead and makes his move with only Roelandts between him and the peloton now, though Maxime Monfort attacks off the front of the main group.

1523: Jurgen Roelandts takes advantage of the breakaway getting strung out on the descent and nips away, with Sylvain Chavanel in hot pursuit.

It's raining
Polka dot jersey
1519: Over the top of a very wet summit of the Cote d'Aisomont and Pineau grabs the points from Taaramae and Burghardt. Chavanel leads the remaining six-man break on a fast downhill plunge as they try to keep the pack at bay.

1515: Sylvain Chavanel is keeping the break going but Matthew Lloyd is struggling and has lost touch with the breakaway as has Sebastien Turgot.

1510: Things are afoot. The peloton have their tail up and the Saxo Bank team are nudging them along, nipping away at the lead which is down to about 40 seconds now on the lower flanks of the third category Cote d'Aisomont.

1500: Mickael Delage has quit the race after that smash. Looked dazed with facial cuts. That leaves 193 riders. Breakaway gap is down to 1'16".

It's raining
1455: A close up of Lance Armstrong showing him puffing out his cheeks and spitting on the road. Fairly miserable conditions now, the sort of day to leave pro cycling to the pros. Lance could have his feet up now, enjoying his retirement, but no...


It's raining
1447: Not just damp conditions now - getting darker, wetter and danker. The eager eight are still up the road, the lead hovering about two minutes. Out the back there is a pile-up as the roads get greasy with a number of riders hitting the barriers, among them Julian Dean of Garmin and Lotto's Mickael Delage.

Polka dot jersey
1440: Another good battle for the third bunch of polka points in increasingly damp conditions but Pineau cleans up once more on the fourth category climb of Werbomont. Three more third cat climbs to come and an intermediate sprint for green jersey points.

Results: 1. Pineau 2. Taaramae 3. Lloyd. The peloton are being kept at arms' length at 2'19" back. For now.

Polka dot jersey
1427: Bit of a scrap for the second climbers' points of the day but Pineau edges it again on the Cote de Filot. Results: 1. Pineau 2. Taaramae 3. Lloyd. By the way, Phil Sheehan on 5 live Twitter has posted pics of Lloyd Mondory's buttock graze after crashing on Sunday. That's got to smart!

1411: The Cervelo Test Team and a smattering of Astana riders are tapping out the pace at the front of the peloton. The gap to the leaders is back down to about three minutes now with 83km left. Five climbs and a steep downhill into Spa left to come.

Green jersey
1405: Full sprint results at 112km: 1. Roelandts (OLO) 6 pts 2. Turgot (BTL) 4 pts 3. Chavanel (QST) 2 pts

1402: Jurgen Roelandts takes the second intermediate sprint of the day but no-one really chases him. Very overcast out there, with a few spots of rain around.

1355: A reminder of our breakaway, who have nibbled away at the peloton a bit and pushed the lead back out to just over four minutes. We have: Lloyd (Omega Pharma Lotto), Roelandts (Omega Pharma Lotto), Burghardt (BMC Racing), Chavanel (Quick Step), Pineau (Quick Step), Turgot (BBox Bouygues Telecom), Taaramae (Cofidis) and Gavazzi (Lampre).

Polka dot jersey
1342: Three of the eight-man breakaway contest the sprint for the first climbers' points of this year's Tour on the Cote de France, a fourth category climb. Results: 1. Pineau 2. Lloyd 3. Taaramae

1340: UrlaubInPolen on 606: "David Harmon tweets that it's bucketing it down in Spa. The place is notorious for its microclimate." Tgsgirl on 606: "I spent a week there with friends on the most budgetfriendly holiday in the history of time, and I can confirm our tent flooded more than once."

1330: Cervelo Test Team's Jeremy Hunt tangled with Mark Cavendish during "Crash-gate" in Sunday's first stage. Here's Hunt's view: ""Cav tangled handlebars with someone - I'm not sure who. It just all went down the line. I was trying to take the outside line so I could come out with speed and I just went into the crash. I thought I was going to avoid it but then the bikes came in front of me. When I crashed it hurt, but I'm okay. "In hindsight, it was actually quite a good crash for us. We got rid of Oscar (Freire) and Cav."

1320: So, the gap to the eight-man breakaway is falling constantly and is now under four minutes with 89km gone of the 201km. But the road is about to kick uphill as a series of three and four category climbs hove into view, which should spice things up a bit. Australian Matt Lloyd in the breakaway won the King of the Mountains jersey in this year's Giro d'Italia.

Twitter
1255: Lead back to about 4'50" at the 64km mark. It's not as hot as yesterday and overcast, according to 5 live on Twitter . In fact, light rain falling in Spa now.

1240: Breakaway tiring or peloton speeding up? The leaders' gap is down to just under six minutes from a maximum of 6'55". Adam Hansen of HTC Columbia, by the way, didn't start today after fracturing his collarbone in Sunday's crash.

1235: Results of the first sprint of the day at 35km: 1. Roelandts (OLO) 6 pts 2. Chavanel (QST) 4 pts 3. Gavazzi (LAM) 2 pts

Get involved on 606
1235: Dummy_half on 606: "Looks like the sort of break that could be allowed to stay away (no overall threats there) - GC teams will probably be happy with an easy day given that they are likely to be busy tomorrow on the cobbles, and with the relatively tough finish to the stage I'm not sure that HTC, Garmin or Lampre will be overly committed to getting their front line sprinters to the front."

1230: The eight-man breakaway has a lead of about seven minutes over peloton after about 35km.

1220: Lance Armstrong, fourth in the general classification after a strong prologue as he bids for an eighth Tour win, says he believes Belgian legend Eddy Merckx is the true great of the sport. Merckx, nicknamed "the Cannibal", won just five Tours, but also clinched the Giro d'Italia five times and the Tour of Spain once as well as hosts of one-day classics.
"If you look at just his career - he's the king of cycling and the greatest that ever lived. I've been fortunate to get to know him for the past 17 years," said the American.

BBC Radio 5 Live
1215: Mark Cavendish's team boss Brian Holm says the Manxman is unlikely to feature in today's stage after crashing on Sunday but is targeting Tuesday's stage from Wanze to Arenberg Porte du Hainault. "We will be ready again in a few days," Holm told BBC Radio 5 live on Sunday. "He's good on the cobblestones. He's going to fight for his position. He will be in the top 10 on the cobblestone."

1200: Sylvain Chavanel (QST) attacks but is caught by a small pack so there is another group of eight men off the front, building a margin of about a minute over the peloton. Those eight are Lloyd, Roelandts, Brurghardt, Chavanel, Pineau, Turgot, Taaramae and Gavazzi.

1150: After rolling out of Brussels an eight-man breakaway took flight but following a leg-stretch they were reeled back in after 9.5km.

1135: Morning team and welcome to stage two of the Tour. The peloton have dusted themselves down and are ready for more punishment after Sunday's dramatic finish, featuring a series of pile-ups just before the finish. Italy's Alessandro Petacchi came on top with Fabian Cancellara taking the leader's yellow jersey into stage two. Today's journey follows part of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège route and features a number of small hills which could just take the sting out of the sprinters' legs, although a downhill finish into Spa may suggest another bunch finish is on the cards. Briton Mark Cavendish will be hoping to avenge his tumble on Sunday with a stage win, while the contenders for the overall classification in Paris will be just hoping to keep out of trouble. "This stage will go to a fighter, not particularly to a sprinter. One has to want it," says cycling great Bernard Hinault in his stage preview on the Tour de France website.



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see also
Chavanel wins dramatic Tour stage
05 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Petacchi wins crash-strewn stage
04 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Millar & Thomas shine in prologue
03 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Tour de France 2010 guide
02 Jul 10 |  Cycling


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