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What a start to the 2016 Tour de France! History made as British cyclist and Team Dimension Data rider Mark Cavendish finally secured his first yellow jersey with a stunning win at Utah Beach, made all the more poignant due to the historical importance of the location and Cav’s own support of Armed Forces charities over the years. And the two days later, Cav follows up with a second win in Angers, beating Lotto Soudal’s Andre Greipel by less than a tyre width, to equal Bernard Hinault’s 28 stage wins in the Tour de France and go second in the overall standings behind Eddy Merckx on 34.
It was good to see reigning World Champion Peter Sagan of Tinkoff, win stage 2, fighting over a tough final few kilometres to show his true quality. This meant a first yellow jersey for Sagan, to add to his collection of green jerseys.
A stage 1 accident for past Tour de France champion Alberto Contador raised concerns for his tour participation, but he has ridden on and hopefully will recover sufficiently by the time the TDF starts going uphill in the Pyrenees. The other main protagonists, Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana and Fabio Aru, have started strongly and safely, with only Richie Porte of BMC having lost some time after a mechanical on stage 2.
Today’s stage 4 from Saumur to Limoges over the longest distance of 237.5km, should be one for the sprinter’s but you can’t rule out a small break going away and stealing the thunder of Cavendish, Kittel, Griepel and co!
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