BRAVE RIDE: Vincenzo Nibali turns around to see he’s created a big enough gap to take out the second stage of the Tour de France on Monday morning. Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Bathurst cyclist Mark Renshaw finished almost 20 minutes off the pace after a hilly trip from York to Sheffield in the second stage of the Tour de France on Monday morning.
Renshaw drifted to the rear of the field over the 201-kilometre stage as his Omega Pharma-Quick Step (OPQS) team faces the remainder of the Tour minus the team’s sprinting hope Mark Cavendish.
Cavendish was ruled out just hours before the start of the race with a dislocated AC-joint suffered in the finish of the Tour’s opening stage a day earlier.
Renshaw chose to join a group of sprinters who worked together to grind through a testing stage in which riders had to contend with nine categorised climbs. The group of 30 riders finished 19 minutes and 50 seconds behind the winner.
Italian general classification hope Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) went on to record the stage victory in a finish more reminiscent of a one-day classic, as all yellow jersey contenders fought up the climb into Sheffield.
Michal Kwiatkowski of OPQS finished in third place on the stage and could be the new target man to whom Renshaw and his team help deliver stage victories.
The Bathurst cyclist has been upbeat in the wake of the Cavendish withdrawal, admiring the large turnout from the English supporters as the Tour had its final stage in the country.
“The crowds were amazing again, the whole stage there are people lining the road cheering. UK you have been great! One more stage here!” he wrote on Twitter yesterday.
“Would love to know round about how many people have lined the road to watch us race? 4 to 5 million in two days is my guess.”
The stage began with seven riders breaking away from the peloton and getting out to a lead of just over three minutes at one point.
The climb over Holme Moss with 60 kilometres to go broke the peloton apart.
Pierre Rolland (Europcar) tried to make a break, but was caught with less than 10km to go.
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) came to the fore on the final climb up Jenkins Road before Chris Froome (Team Sky) tried to make a break, unsuccessfully, off the front.
At the two-kilometre mark, Nibali made his move and the chasing bunch couldn’t muster up an organised response, giving the Italian national road champion the win.
Nibali’s stage win handed him the yellow jersey, while sprinter Peter Sagan (Cannon-dale) has a strong foothold on the greenjersey thanks to consecutive runner-upfinishes.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.