The second stage of the Tour from Utrecht to Zélande was run off in wet and windy conditions, and the race was blown apart along the North Sea Coast. Two of the big favourites for the race, Chris Froome and Alberto Contador, made it into the small front group of just 24 riders who contested the win.
André Greipel proved fastest at the end against Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish while Fabian Cancellara finished in third place and took over the yellow jersey. Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana lost 1.28 to Froome.
Afterwards, Greipel said: “Our group never slowed down but we saved a bit of energy. With 2km to go, I told Tony [Gallopin] and Marcel Sieberg to wait as long as possible because I felt the head wind. Sieberg always knows which one is the right wheel to follow. He’s not just a good rider, he’s my best friend. I know him since I started cycling. He’s a really smart rider. It means a lot to have him in a team.”
“I’ve seen a high number of Quick Step riders in our group but Mark Renshaw opened the sprint too early. He forced Cavendish to go early too but I wasn’t confident yet because Cavendish has showed in the past that he was able to keep that speed for a long time and win that way.”
“But I was also able to stay on his wheel and pass him. There was a possibility to have a German stage winner and a German yellow jersey today but I don’t know what happened to Tony [Martin], I’m just happy with my first stage victory only on the second day of the Tour de France. Tomorrow it’ll be my first time in the green jersey at the Tour de France and I will enjoy it before thinking of targeting it.”