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Tour de France - Bastia - Ajaccio

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  1. 0km - Confirmation of the new top three on GC. 1. Jan Bakelants (RadioShack), 2. David Millar (Garmin) +1, 3. Julien Simon (Sojasun) +1.

  2. 0km - Bakelants pulled off one of the Tour's greatest magic acts there by defying Sagan et al - stunning stuff. The group containing yellow jersey Marcel Kittel crossed the line more than 17 minutes down in the end.

  3. 0km - Result: 1. Bakelants, 2. Sagan +1, 3. Kwiatkovski, 4. Cimolai, 5. Boasson Hagen.

  4. 0km - What an incredible finish by the man we thought was Irizar! Jan Bakelants just held on as the likes of Peter Sagan closed in for the kill... That's a yellow jersey for the Belgian by one slender second...

  5. 0km - Jan Bakelandts of RadioShack holds on by one second to take the stage win and the yellow jersey! We were told it was Markel Irizar but it was his Belgian team-mate!!

  6. 0.5km - It looks like Irizar will stay out ahead and take the yellow jersey!

  7. 1km - Irizar continues with Chavanel and Izagirre in pursuit...

  8. 2km - The pace is high as the peloton closes in on the kill... Irizar has a pop for a long solo attempt.

  9. 3km - The six riders have eight seconds on the pack and they may hold on. Cannondale and Garmin are leading the chase - for Sagan and Millar!

  10. 4km - DOG ON ROAD! That was close - the small white animal almost took out the whole peloton...

  11. 5km - Flecha and Chavanel are in this sextet, as is Gorka Izagirre of Euskaltel, RadioShack's Irizar, Fuglsang, and Lampre's Mori.

  12. 6km - Six riders - including Chavanel - are riding off the front of the pack.

  13. 7km - Gautier is caught by the peloton just as an Omega Pharma rider pulls clear - it's birthday boy Chavanel!

  14. 8km - There are numerous attacks from the peloton in pursuit of Gautier, who has just six seconds to play with.

  15. 9km - Gautier is the lone leader after Froome is pulled back! And it's Peter Sagan who leads the chase as a near-naked lunatic almost runs out into his path...

  16. 10km - Froome eases up after delivering the message to his rivals. He's almost back with the main pack under the 10km banner. The peloton is really strung out...

  17. 11km - Gautier almost comes a cropper on a tight corner but stays up on his bike!

  18. 12km - Froome attacks! Gautier crosses the summit to takes the points but it's the British rider who launches an attack just before the summit in pursuit of the Frenchman...

  19. 12.3km - Gautier and Flecha are being caught by the pack... Flecha is first to go but Gautier is holding out as Sky leads the chase.

  20. 12.5km - It's good for Gautier, but not for his team-mate Rolland, who crashes and needs to swap bikes with team-mate Davide Malacarne!

  21. 13km - We're onto the Cat.2 Côte du Salario - 1km at 8.9%. Straight away there's an attack from Juan Antonio Flecha of Vacansoleil, covered by Cyril Gautier of Europcar!

  22. 14km - Sky have taken over the reins as things get more and more nervous. Everyone's jostlng for positions ahead of the short and steep final climb.

  23. 15km - Laurens Ten Dam of Belkin is on the front now, as is Cadel Evans of BMC and Andy Schleck of RadioShack as we pass through the streets of Ajaccio. The final climb coming right up...

  24. 17km - Now Europcar come to the front after some dicey riding near the barriers on the left-hand side of the road. Do Jean-Rene Bernaudeu's men have another trick up their sleeves?

  25. 18km - It looks like both Alexander Kristoff and Danny van Poppel are not in this main peloton, but David Millar is. That means that should Millar stay with the leading group until the finish, he would be in the yellow jersey tonight - which would be oustanding for the veteran Scot from Garmin.

  26. 20km - Sky back on the front now, and Sojasun are there as well. The French pro continental team missed the break today and want to make a splash in this year's Tour.

  27. 22km - The Kittel-De Gendt group is now a massive 8:30 off the pace.

  28. 23km - Garmin and Lampre are on the front now after Sky took the long way round a roundabout. Something they failed to drill in Tenerife...

  29. 25km - One rider who has been comprehensively distances alongside the fast men such as Kittel is Vacansoleil's Thomas De Gendt, which is a surprise. Third in the Giro in 2011, the Belgian has struggled to replicate his form since then, and missed last year's Tour because of his wedding. Well, the honeymoon is over...

  30. 27km - Just to confirm - all the main favourites seem to be in this main pack of 90-odd riders, including Froome, Contador, Evans, Van Garderen, Valverde and Rodriguez. Pinot and Rolland are here too. There's a cluster of Garmin riders as well, so presumably Hesjedal, Martin and Talansky are all present too.

  31. 29km - Yet another problem for Ag2R-La Mondiale's Jean-Christophe Peraud, who needs to change his back wheel. He's spend large parts of today's stage fighting back onto the peloton and he'll be pretty exhausted tonight.

  32. 30km - The gap continues to grow, with yellow jersey Marcel Kittel now almost eight minutes back. The German youngster seems to have a problem with his mouth or teeth and gesticulates towards the medical moto for assistance.

  33. 35km - Peter Sagan is not the only rider suited to today's finish, which comes after a punchy Cat.3 climb 15km from the finish in Ajaccio. The likes of Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC) are still in this main group, and they could be a threat. Unless someone pulls off a coup, it will come down to a bunch sprint, and Sagan has the pedigree - but he did go down hard yesterday so who knows what may happen...

  34. 40km - Rolland has been reeled in and it's still Cannondale, BMC and Sky who drive the pace on the front of the pack, which is really strung out.

  35. 45km - Kittel is now six and a half minutes behind the peloton and so he stands next to no chance of retaining his maillot jaune today. Back with the peloton, it's BMC, Sky and Cannondale doing the business, with Rolland still just out ahead but for not much longer.

  36. 50km - There's your answer: Peter Sagan is on the front of the peloton leading the chase on this downhill. With many of the other sprinters distanced, last year's green jersey will be the big favourite for the win today.

  37. 53km - Rolland is actually extending his lead on the descent, which is surprising. He has 32 seconds over the pack, still led by Sky and BMC, with Saxo Bank right there too. Rolland will be in polka dots over Kadri by virtue of winning the Cat.2 climb. Job done for Europcar today - anything else is a bonus.

  38. 55km - The yellow jersey grupetto is now six minutes in arrears of lone leader, Rolland. Feillu and Kadri are about to be caught on the descent. Sky and BMC are on the front of the peloton for this winding, sinuous descent. Ag2R-La Mondiale's Jean-Christophe Peraud needs to swap wheels with a team-mate and will have to fight on.

  39. 58km - Rolland is a notoriously poor descender so don't expect him to stay out for much longer on this long downhill...

  40. 60km - Pierre Rolland takes 5 points atop the summit, which he crosses with a 20 second gap over the two chasers and a further 10 seconds over the pack. Kadri takes 3 points which puts him level on Rolland in the KOM standings, interestingly. Feillu picks up two points.

  41. 61km - Another Frenchman attacks from the peloton - it's Brice Feillu of Sojasun. He catches Kadri quickly and the pair ride together in the hunt of the remaining KOM points...

  42. 61.5km - ATTACK: Europcar's Pierre Rolland breaks clear of the peloton! Europcar have been on fire today with attack after attack. Rolland is one of the dark horses for this year's Tour, but presumably he's more interested in the KOM points in the more immediate future. He catches Kadri and rides solo towards the summit.

  43. 62km - Some big names can be seen near the front of the peloton - the likes of Froome, Schleck, Dan Martin and Contador, to name but a handful. The yellow jersey grupetto is now 3:50 back so it's not looking good for Kittel - or for Cavendish, who is there too. No news yet where Peter Sagan is - to be revealed soon.

  44. 63km - The light blue shirts of Astana are on the front of the pack alongside FDJ. Kadri still has 15 seconds and is kicking on, perhaps in the hope of securing the combativity award.

  45. 64km - Kadri's breakaway attempt comes to the most miserable of ends when he suffers a mechanical and needs assistance from the neutral Mavic man just 100m ahead of the peloton. He digs in and on, but it's just a matter of time until he's swept up.

  46. 65km - The lone leader Biel Kadri of Ag2R-La Mondiale is onto the Cat.2 Col de Vizzavona (4.6km at 6.5%). He only has 20 seconds to play with over the FDJ-led peloton, with the yellow jersey grupetto rolling along a further three minutes back.

  47. 68km - It's just a short descent and then they're straight onto the main test of the day, the Cat.2 Col de Vizzavona.

  48. 69km - A group of around 30 riders has formed around the yellow jersey Marcel Kittel, who now has about four team-mates with him. They cross the summit almost three minutes down on Kadri, so it will be a struggle to get on before the next climb.

  49. 70.5km - Kadri takes the points over the summit ahead of Veilleux, who snares the remaining one point. Moments later, Veilleux is caught by the FDJ-led peloton, which had just swallowed up his team-mate Voeckler too. So, just the one man out ahead now - and FDJ look like they really mean business.

  50. 71km - Kadri drops Veilleux and rides solo towards the summit. Further back, Voeckler is tiring a bit and will soon be caught by the peloton. He did give the Corsican crowds something to applaud though - the sight of his famous tongue have whirred them into a frenzy.

  51. 72km - The two leaders - Kadri and Veilleux - have 35 seconds over Voeckler, 55 seconds over the peloton and 1:35 over the yellow jersey Kittel, who now has an Argos Shimano team-mate with him.

  52. 73km - Voeckler has caught and past Boom and Perez. The tongue is out, the grimace is already on his face, and he'll soon catch the two leaders, including, of course, his Europcar team-mate Veilleux.

  53. 73km - The yellow jersey of Marcel Kittel has now been distanced. The young German has no team-mates around him, but he's not alone - a whole raft of riders have been shed by the fast pace of the peloton.

  54. 74km - The new blue shirts of FDJ move to the front of the peloton for pace-setting duties, with the new French national champion Arthur Vichot right there. But they're surprised by an sudden surge by Thomas Voeckler, who jumps clear of the peloton with his Europcar shirt undone...

  55. 75km - CAVENDISH CRACKS: The British national champion has been distanced by the peloton on this second categorised climb. Cav is surrounded by three Omega Pharma team-mates, including Tony Martin, who crashed so badly yesterday. Numerous Argos riders are off the back too, but not the yellow jersey Kittel.

  56. 76km - The leaders move onto the Cat.3 Col de la Serra (5.2km at 6.9%) and straight away Veilleux and Kadri combine to dispose of Perez and Boom.

  57. 78km - The peloton has eased up a little - they know it's a better scenario for these four riders to stay out ahead rather than spark a frenzy behind. The leaders - David Veilleux (Europcar), Blel Kadri (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Ruben Perez (Euskaltel) and Lars Boom (Belkin) - have 1:15 to play with.

  58. 82km - The advantage of the break is tumbling as fast as the riders are zipping down this descent - the gap is just 40 seconds now and they four escapees will probably be caught on the next climb, which will breathe fresh life into this stage and throw a cat amongst the pigeons.

  59. 86km - That was a little naughty from Boom, who was gifted the intermediate sprint and then refused to help out with the pace-setting in the break on the first uncategorised climbs. But the others were dithering and he took his chances to move into the virtual polka dot jersey. If he can secure the jersey, that would be a great start for Belkin, the new team sponsor.

  60. 87km - Boom and Kadri ride on the left while Veilleux and Perez are on the other. The pace has slowed with the riders now thinking about the KOM points. It's Veilleux who kicks first - prompting a response by Kadri, who reels him in. Back it goes together, with Boom happy to be the passenger... until he takes everyone by surprise and zips clear to take the two points ahead of Perez Moreno, who settles for one point.

  61. 89km - Now Sky come to the front, with Ian Stannard there taking a huge swig from his bottle. Stannard went down twice in the closing kilometres yesterday bit was passed to ride last night.

  62. 90km - Katusha and Movistar have come to the front of the peloton, while at the back, Thomas Voeckler rides along with his jersey unzipped. He's one to watch for tomorrow - the stage profile is really his cup of tea.

  63. 92km - This is the first proper climb of the 2013 Tour de France, and there will be a lot of tired legs at the end of today's stage. It's rare for the Tour to feature so many climbs so early in the race - normally the riders get the chance to ride into a bit of form ahead of the uphill stages.

  64. 92km - The leaders are onto the Cat.3 Col de Bellagranajo (6.6km at 4.6%). They have 1:50 over the peloton and Blel Kadri is currently on the front and Lars Boom on the back. Belkin's Boom has done the least amount of pace setting in this break - understandable given his breakaway ride yesterday.

  65. 93km - Two birthday boys in the peloton today: Sylvain Chavanel (OPQS) and Marcus Burghardt (BMC), who turn 34 and 30 respectively. Frenchman Chavanel told Eurosport this morning that he was confident team-mate Mark Cavendish could get over today's climbs and contest the victory today...

  66. 95km - The leaders have completed the little downhill and are now passing through the town of Corte ahead of the first of three back-to-back categorised climbs. They have 1:45 over the peloton so it's not looking like this break will stay out for too long.

  67. 96km - Blel Kadri comes into his third Tour after an impressive spring during which he won the Roma Maxima race. The 26-year-old from Ag2R has never won a stage on a Grand Tour. Veteran Ruben Perez Moreno is in the same boat - although this is the 31-year-old's seventh consecutive Tour for Euskaltel.

  68. 100km - Cadel Evans, the 2011 winner, avoided all the accidents yesterday and spoke to Eurosport this morning. "Today is a short and intense stage which will be nervous after yesterday. It will be a race between the teams of the sprinters who can climb and the sprinters who can't climb - so we'll see Sagan and Cavendish up there. The climb is too far from the finish for it to be a factor in the GC so you'll have to wait a few more days for the GC battle to start."

  69. 102km - Veilleux sets the pace on the front for the leaders, who have 2:15 over the pack, which is being led by the Argos Shimano team-mates of the yellow jersey Kittel.

  70. 105km - We're onto a little climb but this is not one of the categorised lumps on today's route. It will be followed by a small descent into the town of Corte and then the road will head uphill for the Cat.3 Col de Bellagranajo - the first of three successive peaks which are followed by a very long downhill before the final ascent 15km from the finish.

  71. 108km - Small correction to bring you: Greipel didn't puncture yesterday - his rear derailleur was sheared off in the big crash. He had to wait for a bike change to complete the stage - not a new wheel.

  72. 110km - Mark Cavendish avoided being felled by the big crash yesterday but he was forced off the road and didn't feature in the sprint. Can he get over these climbs and compete for the win today? "It's the Tour de France and I'm in good condition but then again so are the other guys. I hope I'll still be there but we'll see," he said this morning.

  73. 115km - Danny van Poppel, incidentally, is the youngest rider in the race and, at 19, the first teenager to ride the Tour since Georg Umbenhauer in 1932. He and brother Boy, also at Vacansoleil, are one of two pairs of brothers in the race. The others are Ion and Gorka Izagirre of Euskaltel.

  74. 118km - The four leaders are approaching the first climb of the day with a lead of 3:15 over the peloton. It's looking good for Veilleux, Kadri, Perez and Boom.

  75. 120km - Kittel, the yellow jersey, didn't look too motivated for that intermediate sprint - he was the first to pull up. Greipel took it quite easily ahead of a bruised Sagan, Cavendish and Danny van Poppel of Vacansoleil.

  76. 122km - If the sprint was uncontested for the leaders, it's the opposite for the peloton as all the big sprinting teams come to the front - Cannondale, Argos, Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Lotto-Belisol. And like yesterday, it's German national champion Andre Greipel who takes maximum points for fifth place. He's in great form - and would surely have pushed Kittel yesterday had he not puntured in the closing kilometres.

  77. 123km - There's a gentleman's agreement in the leading group as Lars Boom is allowed to ride through the intermediate sprint in pole position to take the points. The Dutchman is now on 40 points and draws level with Alexander Kristoff in the green jersey standings.

  78. 125km - Before the climbs we have the small matter of the intermediate sprint, which is coming right up. Lars Boom took the points in yesterday's sprint and will move into second place in the green jersey standings if he replicates that again today. At the moment, Kittel leads the green jersey standings with 45 points ahead of Kristoff (35), Van Poppel (30), David Millar (26) and Matteo Trentin (22), with Boom in sixth on 20.

  79. 128km - The big motivation for the break today - besides the stage win - is the polka dot jersey. Euskaltel's Juan Jose Lobato took the solitary mountain point on offer yesterday to take the first polka dot jersey of the Tour yesterday, but today there are four categorised climbs and so one of these riders will be lead the KOM competition tonight.

  80. 130km - World champion Philippe Gilbert of BMC has a problem with his saddle and needs to stop for some mechanical assistance. The Belgian went down in one of those numerous crashes yesterday - like half the field it seems.

  81. 133km - Geraint Thomas is on the back of the peloton, clearly struggling after his big tumble yesterday. The Welshman missed last year's Tour to concentrate on his track events in the Olympics, and he's suffered a string of crashes this year, with numerous spills for Sky in the classics. It will be a long day for him...

  82. 135km - That explains the fast pace of Sojasun: their man Simon has almost been caught by the peloton, so his team-mates clearly knew he wasn't going to manage to make the connection.

  83. 138km - With the Argos Shimano team of yellow jersey Marcel Kittel on the front of the pack, lone chaser Julien Simon is still riding between the two factions. His Sojasun team-mates come to the front of the pack in a bit to control things, and start to drive a hard pace, which is a little odd. Some riders from Belkin have a few words and they take the foot off the gas.

  84. 140km - For a second successive day, it's Europcar who instigated the break. Like Jerome Cousin yesterday, Canada's Veilleux is making his debut in the Tour on the back of his stage win and four days in yellow during the Dauphine. Jean-Rene Bernaudau's team are, of course, on the hunt for a new sponsor - although to be fair, they're pretty much always this attacking.

  85. 145km - France's Julien Simon (Sojasun) is trying to bridge tha gap between the four leaders and the pack, but it's going to be tricky because the leaders are going well. They now have almost three minutes on the peloton.

  86. 146km - Tony Martin was cleared to ride today despite losing consciousness twice after his high-speed crash yesterday. He suffered multiple cuts and a bruised lung, but fears that he'd broken his collarbone did not materialise. This morning he told Eurosport at the start: "I didn't do too badly last night. Things were ok and surpisingly I got a good night's sleep and so I'm going to start the stage."

  87. 148km - The four escapees are Davids Veilleux (Europcar), Blel Kadri (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Ruben Perez (Euskaltel) and Lars Boom (Belkin). Dutchman Belvin is on the attack for the second successive day, while once again, Euskaltel, Europcar and Belvin feature off the front. The gap is already over a minute.

  88. 150km - As you can see on the stage profile, the first intermediate sprint comes quite early today, after 35km and just before a succession of climbs. Many thought the teams of the sprinters would try and keep it together before the sprint because they all - except Kittel - missed out at the finish yesterday, but that's not the case. These four riders have established an early lead.

  89. 152km - The early accelerations were reeled in and then there's a counter attack by a Europcar rider in green, prompting a response from three other riders.

  90. 156.5km - We're under way! The 198 riders pass through the official start and straight away we have some attacks off the front...

  91. 12:35 - It's warm and sunny today with the sun high in a blue sky. Hopefully the riders will have covered up all the road rash with ample sun cream and bandages... They're about to get going, with Christian Prudhomme primed to wave the flag.

  92. 12:30 - The riders are in the neutral zone ahead of today's official start. Remarkably, everyone takes to the start today - even Tony Martin (OPQS), who ripped his body to shreds and passed out twice in the team bus before being taken to hospital. The German is one tough nut.

  93. 12.25 - The chaotic scenes aside, Kittel held his nerve to take the biggest win of his career yesterday. The German 25-year-old Argos-Shimano sprinter pipped Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and 19-year-old Danny van Poppel (Vacansoleil) to secure a clean sweep of yellow, green and white jerseys.

  94. 12:20 - Yesterday, Marcel Kittel won the opening stage of the Tour in Bastia to take the yellow jersey after British favourite Mark Cavendish was held up in a large crash towards the finish. Besides the massive pile-up, which also brought down the likes of Peter Sagan, Alberto Contador and Tony Martin, the first ever stage in Corsica will be remembered more for the Orica-GreenEdge bus, which got stuck under the finish gantry in truly farcical scenes.

  95. 12:15 - Welcome to live coverage of stage two of the Tour de France, a 154km lumpy ride from Bastia to Ajaccio, the birthplace of Napoleon. There are four categorised climbs on the agenda today so the pure sprinters could well be distanced before the end. And after yesterday’s pile-ups, there will be some sore limbs in the peloton for sure…

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  1. I see Jacques Tati has had a hand in organising this­ stage as well

    From Sabcarrera, on Sun 30 Jun 16:20
  2. why, oh why do these cameramen act as a derny, how are­ they allowed to get away with it?

    From ALAN, on Sun 30 Jun 16:13
  3. Hush, don't you know the famous dutchman Belvin­ from team Belvin?

    From Gray, on Sun 30 Jun 14:10
  4. Who is the dutchman belvin?

    From Peter, on Sun 30 Jun 12:57
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