Stage 2 Bastia to Ajaccio 154km
Firstly, JOHN DEGENKOLB YOU ARE DEADSET FVCKED SERIOUSLY WHY SIT UP FOR KITTEL HE WAS NEVER GOING TO GET BACK ON THE BUS.
OK, now lets get down to business. After the excitement of yesterday it was going to take a cracker to beat it today and my lordy did it deliver!
Tony Martin, after blacking out a couple of times after his crash yesterday, was back on the start line looking like an extra out of Tron. Within 10km it looked like his jersey was already discoloured by his scratches. A long day in the saddle was in the wings.
Again the group let the group dangle, slowly shutting the break down before letting it bow out once again.
Boom and Perez took 1-2 on the first KOM and then both went out the back in unison on the next climb. Vielleux and Kadri were now out front alone before LPTV (Little Plucky Tommy Voeckler) attacked out of the group. Not sure how that helped Villeux though it seemed he was cooked anyway. FDJ weren't too happy with this move and shut it down before Pierre Rolland attacked, bridged across to Kadri and then took off after the KOM by himself. Fiellu, not to be outdone by another Frenchman, also attacked from the group and went over the KOM with Kadri but soon enough the group was back together on the descent.
All this time big Marcel Kittel had just totally dropped his bundle and was WAAYYY out the back. One day you are the hammer, the other just a hot looking German bloke with cannons for legs.
Liquigas, BMC and Sky controlled the pace before the group hit the final climb with 13km to go.
Gautier and Flecha went at the bottom of the Salario and soon it was Gautier off by himself. Whether he was playing spoiler for the KOM to ensure Rolland wore the KOM jersey at the end of the day or going for it I'm not too sure, but over the top he was away, with a chasing Froome (?!!!). After almost binning it on the descent he was met with a cross headwind and with 7km to go it was all back together.
But there was no one team willing to take the race by the throat and with all the fluffing about Chavanel attacked. Extremely dangerous this close to the end of a stage, 5 other riders sensed the opportunity and bridged. At first the break was fluffing as much as the main group but soon hard old heads prevailed and Chavanel, Fuglsang and Flecha had the break singing like a German band.
The break was sitting at 10 seconds and with plenty of "You roll! No you roll!" in the main group the break could sniff the win. After another bloody dog on the course (Was it the Green Edge bus driver's dog?) was avoided the stage was set for one of six to wear the yellow jersey that afternoon.
With about 1.8km to go Bakelants went to the front to do his roll and the Euskatel rider Izaguirre just LET THE WHEEL GO??? All of a sudden he had daylight and with everyone looking at Chavanel the rest of the break was doomed.
With a rapidly closing peloton, Calrton Kirby, the Eurosport commentator basically had a conniption on air willing Bakelandts across the line and so he did, throwing his hands in the air with all the energy of a bloke who was truly rooted.
An amazing effort for a young rider with his first professional win. What a place to do it!
Onto the results and no one picked Bakelants surprisingly, about a million picked Sagan and another half mill had Degenkolb. Share the pain brothers and sisters.
In the overall GC its logjammed like a Baghdad mortuary while in the Sprint Pine Apple is sitting pretty in green on 80 points! Weapon!
In the KOM and its all even stevens for now.
OK another cracker on the agenda tonight. With people hemorrhaging time last night there will be a phalanx of Frenchmen chosen. This will surely lead to the noose rather than attention seeking cutting of wrists. And so early on too!
On on the outtake lets remember Marcel Kittel's time in the sun with a look at his earlier years