Tour de France 2014: stage two - five observations

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Tour de France 2014: stage two – five observations

GC contenders show their strength as Vincenzo Nibali claims yellow jersey in Sheffield

The disturbing image of a pair of unblinking eyes (coloured green, of course) staring out from the top tube of Peter Sagan (Cannondale) might be taken as evidence that the Slovakian star is in ruthless, determined mood ahead of this Tour.

But his actions on stage two suggest there is still a space for compassion in the psyche of the current wearer of the white jersey of best young rider.

Peter Sagan celebrates another day in the white jersey on the Sheffield podium (pic: Sirotti)

Asked post-stage why he had not followed Vincenzo Nibali’s attack, he claimed it was because he knew he would bring the rest of the leading group with him if he did – foiling his friend and former team-mate’s chance of victory in the process.

How true those words are, or whether they are just PR code for ‘I didn’t go because I couldn’t’ only Sagan will know.

But if true, it suggests the Cannondale man believes that more opportunities to claim the yellow jersey lie just around the corner.

Two almost pan-flat stages will make it unlikely that Nibali will surrender the jersey until at least stage five – the cobbled stage – so perhaps it is then that Sagan intends to strike?

A career-best sixth place at Paris-Roubaix this year shows it is not just the punchier cobbled Classics at which he excels, and along with BMC Racing hardman, Greg van Avermaet – the duo currently second and third overall – it appears the perfect stage for one of them to claim a maiden yellow jersey.

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