|The Tour de France continued in Belgium today with stage two. At the start of the day the early breakaway escaped the peloton. The breakaway featured three men - Anthony Roux (FDJ-BigMat), Christophe Kern (Europcar) and the man who currently leads the Mountains Classification, Michael MÝrkÝv (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank). Although the breakaway survived throughout a large chunk of the day, the stage finished in a sprint with world champion Mark Cavendish (Sky) taking the win. Lotto-Belisol's Andre Greipel placed second in the sprint with Matthew Goss of Orica-GreenEdge taking third.
"I was alone in the last kilometre," said Cavendish on the team sky website. "I told Edvald [Boasson Hagen] with five kilometres to go just do your own thing. We havenít worked enough together when it's so hectic like that. If it had just been the sprinters then it would have been okay but there were climbers and GC riders at the finish. Iíd rather just go alone."
The early breakaway of Kern, Roux and MÝrkÝv escaped the peloton after approximately 20 kilometer of racing. The trio built a maximum advantage of eight minutes over the peloton during the day, however, the gap did not stand for long as race leader Fabian Cancellara's RadioShack-Nissan team took to the front of the peloton to lower the gap. Anthony Roux was the last man to be brought back into the peloton with 14 kilometers remaining.
As the peloton captured Roux, Lotto-Belisol led the peloton as the Belgian team lined up their team lead-out for their German sprinter, Andre Greipel. As more sprinting teams such as Lampre-ISD, Orica-GreenEdge, Garmin-Sharp, Argos-Shimano and others, so did BMC Racing Team. George Hincapie, Tejay van Garderen and other BMC riders brought defending Tour de France champion and former world champion, Cadel Evans up to the front of the peloton to keep him of trouble and possible crashes.
In the final 500 meters, the peloton was still being led by Lotto-Belisol with Greipel at the end of the Belgian team's lead-out train and world champion Mark Cavendish on his back wheel. In the sprint for the line, yesterday's stage winner Peter Sagan (Liqauigas-Cannondale) faded as Cavendish and Greipel battled hard for the number one spot on the stage results. Mark Cavendish overcame Greipel in the final meters to win the sprint while Aussie Matthew Goss finish behind Greipel for a third place on the stage.
Stage 2 Results
1 Mark CAVENDISH GBR SKY 4:56:59
2 Andrť GREIPEL GER LTB +0
3 Matthew Harley GOSS AUS OGE +0
4 Tom VEELERS NED ARG +0
5 Alessandro PETACCHI ITA LAM +0
6 Peter SAGAN SVK LIQ +0
7 Yauheni HUTAROVICH BLR FDJ +0
8 Juan Josť HAEDO ARG STB +0
9 Mark RENSHAW AUS RAB +0
10 Tyler FARRAR USA GRM +0
General Classification After Stage 2
1 Fabian CANCELLARA SUI RNT 10:02:31
2 Bradley WIGGINS GBR SKY +7
3 Sylvain CHAVANEL FRA OPQ +7
4 Tejay VAN GARDEREN USA BMC +10
5 Edvald BOASSON HAGEN NOR SKY +11
6 Denis MENCHOV RUS KAT +13
7 Philippe GILBERT BEL BMC +13
8 Cadel EVANS AUS BMC +17
9 Vincenzo NIBALI ITA LIQ +18
10 Ryder HESJEDAL CAN GRM +18
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