World champion Peter Sagan said he had three reasons to be cheerful as he won stage two and took the overall leader’s yellow jersey in front of family and friends from Slovakia on the Tour de France on Sunday.
Sagan edged Sonny Colbrelli in a reduced sprint finish at La Roche-sur-Yon after a late crash in the peloton.
Overnight leader Fernando Gaviria came down in a mass high speed crash just 1.3km from the line, which Sagan and around 15 other riders avoided to set up a frantic finish.
“It was something special with my father here and friends from my hometown”, said Sagan. “It was also our last realistic chance to get the yellow jersey with the team time-trial tomorrow.”
“It’s a great start for the fans,” he added. “Fernando won yesterday and now I’m the one with the yellow jersey, it’s been exciting.”
“I could see it was going to be a good year,” said Sagan, who was thrown off the Tour last year after being judged culpable of a fall that ended fellow sprinter Mark Cavendish’s Tour.
“This makes up for last year,” he said. “My team got me into the mix. Then Arnaud Demare went for it first and I just tried to stay on his wheel.”
“It was a mess over those last five kilometres all up and down and then going up the hill there was a headwind,”.