- Aug 31, 2014
Sunday, July 3rd • Stage info • Startlist • Roadbook • Rules • Weather: Start, Halfway, Finish
Starts at 13:00 - Live video from 14:15 - Finish at 17:20 (CEST) • Live ticker • Livestreams
Mountain passes & hills:
Km 10.0 - Côte de Torigny-les-Villes 1.4 kilometre-long climb at 5.7% - category 4
Km 23.0 - Côte de Montabot (D28-D98) 1.9 kilometre-long climb at 5% - category 4
Km 52.0 - Côte de Montpinchon 1.2 kilometre-long climb at 5.9% - category 4
Km 181.5 - Côte de La Glacerie 1.9 kilometre-long climb at 6.5% - category 3
Current GC standings:CyclingQuotes.com said:When the sprinters got a chance to wear yellow after the first stage in 2013 and 2014, it was always going to be a short-lived affair. In both editions, ASO had designed a tough, hilly stage already on the second day and so Marcel Kittel only got one day in the maillot jaune on both occasions. Apparently, race director Christian Prudhomme likes that formula so there will no second chance to strike back for the sprinters who have missed out in the first stage. Like in the past two editions, the second stage will leave no room for the fastest guys and instead the puncheurs and classics riders look forward to one of their rare chances in this year’s edition of the Tour.
The second stage will bring the riders over 183km from Saint-Lo to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin and like stage 1, it has the potential to be a very nervous and stressful affair. For the second day in a row, the riders will follow the coastal road for most of the time and this could potential wreak havoc on the field if the conditions are right. From the start in Saint-Lo, the riders will briefly head south to go up the category 4 climbs of Cote de Tarigny-les-Villes (1.4km, 5.7%) and Cote de Montabot (1.9km, 5%) after 10km and 29.5km of racing respectively. Then they will turn around and head in a northwesterly direction towards the coast. Along the way, they will tackle the category 4 Cote de Montpinchon (1.2km, 5.9%) at the 52km mark before they get to the sea at the feed zone after 96.5km of racing.
After a lumpy start, the terrain gets significantly flatter as the riders approach the coast and there won’t be much climbing on the coastal road. Here the riders will contest the intermediate sprint at the 107.5km mark, an almost completely flat one with just a single turn 1200m from the line.
After around 140km, the riders will leave the coast and traverse the inland which makes the terrain significantly hillier. There are a few small climbs before the riders again reach the coast which they will get with around 20km to go. From there, they will follow the coastal road to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin where they will go up the small, uncategorized climb of Cote d’Octeville (1.3km, 4.6%) whose top is located with 7.5km to go. From there, a short descent leads to the final challenge, the uphill finish on the category 3 climb of Cote de la Glacerie. It averages 6.5% over 1.9km and includes 500m at an average of 10.5% and with a maximum of 15% just 500m from the top. The KOM sprint comes with 1.5km to go and then a short 500m descent leads to the final 700m which are uphill at 5.7%. It’s a technical finale too as there are numerous turns inside the final 10km. On the climb, there are several winding turn and a left-hand turn in a roundabout. After the top, there are two turns in quick succession but from there, it is a 5.5m wide road that only bends slightly to the right.
Unlike the Giro and Vuelta which usually have lots of opportunities for the puncheurs, the Tour de France often has very little terrain for the classics riders. It’s the same in 2016 and so stage 2 is one of the few opportunities that those riders can realistically target. The finale is tailor-made for riders like Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews, Greg Van Avermaet, Julian Alaphilippe, Alejandro Valverde, Daniel Martin and Simon Gerrans who undoubtedly have set their sights on a stage that could potentially give them the yellow jersey too. To get there, however, they have to get through a very stressful and nervous stage where the wind can again come into play and the many technical challenges in the finale will only make things worse. Guys like Chris Froome and Alberto Contador will look for opportunities to distance Nairo Quintana in the crosswind but otherwise it’s just a day for the GC riders to stay safe and avoid any unnecessary time loss in a finale where there will definitely be lots of splits.
Although the finale of this year's stage has its own special flavour, the Tour paid quite a few visits to Cherbourg in the 1920s, when the organisers tried to follow the contours of the country. Some of these stages went down in history, like in 1923, when rookie Ottavio Bottechia launched an instinctive solo attack two kilometres from the finish of stage 2 to steal the win from under the favourites' nose. The cheeky rider went on to become the first Italian winner of the Tour and again won the race in 1925. In 1924, the stage from Cherbourg to Brest was marred by controversy shortly after the start: brothers Henri and Francis Pélissier, as well as Maurice Ville, withdrew 76 km into the stage, furious at the organisers who supposedly forbade them from putting on several jerseys as protection against the cold. When journalist and writer Albert Londres joined them at the Café de la gare in Coutances, they vented their anger sprinkled with a few drops of chicanery. The resulting piece, published in Le Petit Parisien under the headline Les forçats de la route ("The Convicts of the Road"), became famous.
Cherbourg hasn’t hosted a stage for more than a decade.
Abandons Stage 1:
198 of 198 riders remain in the race.
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