Peter Sagan’s luxury wardrobe
Peter Sagan is some kind of deluxe onion. Peel back his layers and his appearance will barely diminish. His stage two victory has put him into the yellow jersey, but when someone overhauls his lead and pulls that off his back, he’ll still be wearing the green jersey as he’s also leading the points competition. In the unlikely event that this too is torn from his rippling torso, he still has that rainbow-striped base layer to fall back on, as he’s the current world champion.
Short, hard effort up a hill at the end. Sagan was fastest. The increasingly impressive Julian Alaphilippe was handlebar-hammeringly frustrated to come second, while Alejandro Valverde has had so many third places, he probably didn’t even notice another one.
Oddly, Sagan himself thought he’d come third. You wait years and years for a chance to give one of your patented Tour de France victory salutes and when it finally comes, you don’t even notice.
Alberto Contador v road furniture
After being sent skittering across the asphalt after hitting a traffic island on stage one, suburban road architecture again got the better of Contador on stage two. Tony Martin hit a speed bump (terrible name: if anything they slow you down) which bounced his hands off the bars. He fell and brought the Spaniard down with him.
“I can feel something in the knee, calf and left shoulder,” said Contador afterwards. He lost 48 seconds on the stage. Things don’t look good.
Richie Porte was another overall contender to suffer. He had a puncture with 5km to go and the wheel change was ropey enough that he lost 1m45s. That’s a significant head-start to his rivals and Porte’s tetchy enough about it at the minute that he’s claiming his hopes are already over.
Flat, sprint finish.
It’ll never rival the Giro d’Italia’s idiosyncratic offerings, but let’s bring back the local delicacies angle to stage previews. This region of France apparently specialises in whelks, mussels and saltmarsh lamb.