ORICA-SCOTT avoid carnage, but Durbridge succumbs to injury, on stage two of the Tour de FranceSun 2 Jul 2017
Wet conditions on day two of the Tour de France saw the road stages kick off with as much carnage as yesterday’s time trial.
An otherwise flat and fast stage two was spiced up with rain and wind, with a heavy crash at the front of the peloton on a corner taking down many riders, including reigning champion Chris Froome.
ORICA-SCOTT managed to avoid the mayhem, which occurred in the final 30km, but did lose hard man Luke Durbridge who bravely started today’s stage before having to succumb to the injuries he suffered in yesterday’s crash.
“Unfortunately for me today I had to abandon the Tour de France,” Durbridge said. “When I was out there I couldn’t get out of my saddle, I was literally pedalling with one leg.”
“It’s probably the hardest bike race in the world to pull out of. I’m very upset, but if you can only pedal with one leg and you’ve got 3500km to do, it’s not possible.
“It’s upsetting for me not to be able to support the team. I just love the Tour de France and I love working for this team.
“I’m going to head back to Girona and get some scans on my ankle and see what the damage is. At this stage it’s going to be a couple of weeks off the bike before I can really rebuild, hopefully for the world championships in the back end of the season.”
Sport director Matt White shared Durbridge’s disappointment, but was pleased luck was on the team’s side in today’s chaotic final.
“All of our guys got through the crash in today’s stage unscathed which was pretty lucky in the end,” White said. “There must have been a bit of diesel on that corner because even when we got there, our cars lost traction too.”
“Obviously we have had a mixed day. We lost Durbo early on, but we needed to make the right decision for his long-term health. All of the others have survived another risky day and return to fight on tomorrow.”
How it happened:
It was an uncharacteristic first road stage of the Tour de France with little resistance from the peloton to an early breakaway of four riders making for a calmer than expected start.
Despite the wet and sometimes windy conditions, the race seemed in control for much of the 203km as the workers of the main five sprint teams immediately took their position at the head of the bunch, controlling the breakaway between two and three minutes.
A large crash, involving Froome, on a slippery corner within the final 30km got the heart pumping and gave two remaining escapees a sniff of success.
The bunch’s hesitation and caution allowed Taylor Phinney (Cannondale-Drapac) and Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Gobert) to maintain their gap and the pair held a 30second advantage in the final kilometres before they were rapidly swept up in the bunch sprint to finish.
Quickstep Floor’s Marcel Kittel timed it better than everyone to take the victory as ORICA-SCOTT protected their leaders to finish on bunch time.
Tour de France – Stage 2 Results:
1. Marcel Kittel (Quickstep Floors) 4:37:06
2. Arnaud Demare (FDJ) ST
3. Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) ST
30. Mathew Hayman (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
Tour de France – General Classification after stage 2:
1. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 4:53:10
2. Stefan Kung (BMC Racing Team) +0:05
3. Marcel Kittel (Quickstep Floors) +0:06
13. Daryl Impey (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:19