Stage 2: Nibali’s statement of intent
The Telegraph Cycling Podcast, supported by Jaguar dissects an engrossing second stage of the Tour de France as well as reflecting on the loss of Mark Cavendish, who was forced to retire after his crash on day one.
Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe bring all the latest news from the race, and there are interviews with Cavendish’s team doctor, Helge Riepenhof, and Omega Pharma-QuickStep team boss, Patrick Lefevere.
We also hear from stage winner Vincenzo Nibali’s Astana teammate, Jakob Fuglsang, who was aggressive in the closing stages, and from Max Sciandri, American rider Tejay van Garderen’s sports director at BMC Racing. Van Garderen showed a welcome return to form, attacking on the run-in.
Fuglsang admitted that Nibali’s victory, thanks to a late attack, was opportunistic rather than planned. Asked if it was an accidental stage win, he said: “More or less, yes. It was a good attack but I was still a little surprised he went relatively easily.”
It was a stage that saw the big guns come out fighting, but what did we learn? Alberto Contador and Chris Froome remain the two big favourites, but will Nibali, van Garderen or Andrew Talansky emerge as genuine challengers when the race returns to France and enters the high mountains?
And at the end of two days in Yorkshre we reflect on arguably the grandest Grand Départ in the 111-year history of the Tour, with crowds that even surprised France’s last winner, Bernard Hinault.