Stage 2: Brussels — Spa
What is it? A tribute to the Ardennes classics, this stage is up and down all the way.
Got Climbs? Yes, there are climbs, nine of them in all. All are short and steep, classics stylie.
Yellow Jersey Battle: The roads in the Ardennes are a tricky business. Watch for crashes!
Ideal Rider: Jérôme Pineau. Pineau has the knack for finding the right breakaway and the tactical smarts to get to the line first.
@Gavia: Spotty dots! With nine categorized climbs, today is a good day to grab an early lead in the mountains classification.
The stage runs east from Brussels into the hilly terrain of the Ardennes and finishes in Spa. This year, the opening stages of the Tour celebrate the spring classics, and here Tour borrows from La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. It's a bumpy ride, though none of the climbs are especially long. The course is likely difficult enough to eliminate the pure sprinters like Mark Cavendish and the terrain may slow the chase sufficiently to allow a break to survive to the finish. Riders like Jérôme Pineau and his team-mate Sylvain Chavanel could find stage glory from a break. If the race comes back together, sprinters like Oscar Freire and Thor Hushovd who climb better than many of their rivals will have the advantage.
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Post-Race Happy Hour
Chavanel Takes Yellow in Day of Crashes
A wet descent threw the race into chaos today allowing Sylvain Chavanel to win from a daylong break. Behind him several GC riders fought with all they had to avoid timelosses after the big crash. The Schleck-brothers managed to reconnect but the detante in the field cost Fabian Cancellara and Saxo Bank the leaders jersey. Peloton rode as a group across the line in protest of the dangerous road conditions under the watchful eye of Cancellara. Read More...
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