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by Mark Zalewski
July 4, 2016
In today’s CT Daily News Digest: Peter Sagan swaps rainbow stripes for yellow jersey with Stage 2 victory at Tour de France; Rosa Round-up: more Boels-Dolmans success as Evelyn Stevens wins stage 3 and takes pink; Tour of Austria kicks off with uphill prologue and field sprint stage; Cavendish wins opening stage of Tour de France, takes maillot jaune for first time; ‘It was a disaster’: Stage 2 puncture slashes Porte’s chances of Tour de France victory; The walking wounded: Stage 1 of Tour leaves its mark; Contador injured in Tour de France opener: ‘When I place my shoulder in a certain position I am worried’; Bennett soldiers on after stage 1 crash: ‘I could see the bone in my finger’; Mission accomplished: Cavendish completes long campaign to grab Tour yellow; Cookson on ASO-UCI deal, Bahrain team; Tramadol prevalent within the pro peloton, soon to be banned; Tour de France: Stage 2 recap; Tour de France: Stage 1 recap; Tour de France: Stage 1 on-board highlights; Tour de France: Stage 2 on-board highlights; How to launch the ‘Manx Missile’
For the first time in his decorated Tour de France career — a career that has an astonishing 27 stage victories — Mark Cavendish is wearing the maillot jaune of race leader.
After a wild opening stage that saw several riders hit the ground, including two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador, Cavendish (Dimension Data) outclassed German Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) and world champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) with a perfectly timed sprint that left no doubt who had the fastest finishing kick.
In doing so, the rider from the Isle of Man demonstrated that the questions about him balancing his Olympic track ambitions with his road-racing career have been without substance.
“It was a big goal for Dimension Data to win a stage at the Tour de France,” Cavendish said. “To add the yellow jersey is a reward for our sponsors and for the Qhubeka charity. I did it for my team, for the ‘kids on bicycle’ campaign. I can’t believe it. Regardless of who was there, the Tour de France is the Tour de France. To win a stage is incredible. I’m very emotional for it. It’s gonna be a special day tomorrow to ride a stage in yellow. There was no better place to achieve this than Utah Beach where soldiers died for us.”
A crash inside the final kilometre caught a few of the sprinters out, but most of the big names made it through safely. After Etixx-QuickStep spent most of the day on the front of the peloton chasing the day’s breakaway, Kittel was unable to finish off the job. He finished second to Cavendish, with world champion Sagan in third, and newly crowned German national road champion Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) in fourth.
Click through to read more at CyclingTips.