After the phenomenal performance of BMC’s Rohan Dennis on the stage one time trial, it was the turn of the general classification contenders who came to the fore on stage two.
While many of our minds were firmly on the battle that is to come in the mountains of the second and third week, the rivals for the yellow jersey knew just what risks lay in store on an exposed second stage.
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Wind, rain, obstacles and crashes all played their part in blowing the peloton apart, with Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali and other big names losing nearly 90 seconds to Chris Froome and Alberto Contador.
Andre Greipel triumphed in the stage, which finished on a man-made island in the middle of the sea, where the sun had come out for the race’s arrival.
The yellow jersey was on Dennis’s back for just a day as the Australian missed the chance to join the front group. Fabian Cancellara rode the perfect race in order to steal third place from Mark Cavendish, and with it the yellow jersey from Cav’s teammate Tony Martin.
With stage three racing through Belgium, the Classics contenders will be on full alert on Monday to try and win on the Mur de Huy.