We had our first sprint battle today, with Gaviria coming out on top, can he do it again on another sprint stage to La Roche-sur-Yon?
<h2 style="text-align:center">TOUR DE FRANCE 2018 STAGE 2</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Mouilleron-St-Germain / La Roche-sur-Yon</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Sunday July 8th, 182.5km</h2><p>We had our first sprint battle today, with Gaviria coming out on top, can he do it again on another sprint stage to La Roche-sur-Yon?</p><p>We had a dramatic end to what was a very boring stage today, with GC carnage unfolding thanks to three crashes in the final 10kms. First Richie Porte was caught up in a crash involving Arnaud Demare, and his group started losing time, then the Yellow Jersey favourite Chris Froome ended up in a field after a touch of wheels with 5kms to go.</p><p>In the end, Froome, Porte and Yates lost 51” to the other GC leaders and Quintana lost a further 25” after hitting a traffic island and damaging both wheels. It was a surprising development in only the first stage, but the Tour is the Tour, anything can, and does happen.</p><p>In the sprint itself, Fernando Gaviria’s QuickStep Floors team took advantage of the confusion and chaos to deliver a textbook leadout train for Fernando Gaviria and the Colombian did the rest to take the win in his first TDF stage and now wears the Yellow and Green jerseys too. Peter Sagan was 2nd, our man Marcel Kittel landed the odds for the top 3 placing with a good 3rd place. Dylan Groenewegen had found himself without teammates too far back to make an impact, whereas Alexander Kristoff was right up there but faded in the last 10m to be mugged for 3rd by Kittel.</p><p><img alt src="https://images-production-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5b40f19c4afd5b008dc9550d/original-tour-de-france-route-2-2018" style="width:876px;height:506px" /></p><h2>The Route</h2><p>Not a lot to say about this course, it’s flat and pretty featureless for 182.5kms, and it will almost certainly end in a sprint. As they approach the finish in La Roche sur Yon they have to go through the usual urban street furniture, with several roundabouts in the last 3kms before they open up on to a slightly uphill 900m finishing straight.</p><p> </p><h2>Contenders and Favourites</h2><p>This is going to be a sprint finish, 99.5% chance of that, unless there is some freak crash or something in the closing kilometres, but you can’t rule that out after what we saw today. And looking at today’s sprint finish we got some pointers ahead of tomorrow’s sprint.</p><p>QSF are just the best leadout train here, they were devastating today. Terpstra, Jungels powered it along, then Yves Lampaert took over inside the last kilometre and took a huge pull to set Gaviria on his way. And Gaviria looked fast.. He got a lead on Sagan early on and held on well.</p><p>Peter Sagan is just so powerful he bullied his way in to 2nd, he’ll be close again. Marcel Kittel was just a little too far back starting his sprint but finished the fastest of all, I think he’ll be right up there again tomorrow. Alex Kristoff was impressive for me, it usually takes him a few stages to get going, he might be close again tomorrow, but in a more traditional sprint he might be outdone for speed,</p><p>Dylan Groenewegen will surely be closer tomorrow, he was left way too far back coming in to the last 2kms or so, and looked exhausted after getting himself on to the wheels of the leaders, he did well to finish 6th in the end.</p><p>Christophe Laporte sprinted well too to take 5th place, but Arnaud Demare looked like he might have been hurt in that crash, he was in no hurry to get back in and I’m steering clear of him tomorrow. Michael Matthews, John Degenkolb, Thomas Boudat and Timothy Dupont will be scrapping for the 5th to 10th places.</p><p>Gaviria was very impressive today in the end, QSF were superb, it’s hard to look past him again for tomorrow, so he’s the bet for me again. Marcel Kittel to finish in the top 3 again also interests me, I think he can do it again.</p><h2>Selections:</h2><h2>2pts win on Fernando Gaviria <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4702&book=Bet365" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">with Bet365</a></h2><h2>1pt on Marcel Kittel to finish in the first 3 at <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4702&book=Bet365" title="tio rated sportsbook">with Betmania</a></h2>