Skip to main content

Vincenzo Nibali in yellow after bold late move; Mark Cavendish pulls out

By Paul Gittings, CNN
updated 4:20 PM EDT, Sun July 6, 2014
Vincenzo Nibali basks in the glory of the yellow jersey after winning the second stage of the Tour de France in Sheffield.
Vincenzo Nibali basks in the glory of the yellow jersey after winning the second stage of the Tour de France in Sheffield.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Vincenzo Nibali goes into yellow after second stage win
  • Italian champion makes daring late move to finish in Sheffield
  • Mark Cavendish pulls out of Tour de France
  • Suffered shoulder injury in first stage crash in Harrogate

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Vincenzo Nibali was rewarded for a bold late move to win the second stage of the Tour de France in Sheffield Sunday and don the coveted yellow jersey.

The Italian champion was among a select group who had broken clear after a short but brutal climb on the outskirts of the Yorkshire city.

They included reigning champion Chris Froome of Team Sky, his chief rival Spain's Alberto Contador and the favorite for the stage, Slovakia's Peter Sagan.

But as they hesitated the 2013 Giro d' Italia winner put his head down and broke clear, never to be caught, holding a two second advantage over his chasers as he raised his arms in triumph at the finish.

It was enough to put the Astana rider in the overall lead, but the climbing form shown Contador and Froome served notice they have taken fine form into the three-week classic.

Kenyan cyclist grooms next generation
Britain's Froome wins Tour de France
South African cyclist: Never give up

Nibali also believes he is a strong contender to be in yellow when the Tour finishes in Paris on July 27.

"I've always believed in my chances, I came here to do my best and with this win I think I've already shown a good sign," he told gathered reporters.

"Of course the Tour doesn't finish here, there's still a long way to go. I'm calm and confident."

Read: Welcome to God's own county

Behind Nibali, Belgian Greg Van Avermaet and Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland took the minor places.

Kwatkowski's ride was some consolation for the Omega Pharma Quick Step team after key rider Mark Cavendish pulled out of the Tour before the start of the 200km second stage.

Cavendish suffered a dislocated shoulder and ligament damage in a high speed spill near the finish of the first stage in Harrogate Saturday.

"I'm devastated to be fair. I'm in pain as well," the former world champion told gathered reporters in front of the team's bus.

"I've got to go and get an MRI (scan) to see if it needs surgery, chances are it probably does. Unfortunately I'm likely to be out for a few weeks."

Cavendish crashed after touching wheels with Australia's Simon Gerrans and admitted the incident had been his fault as they battled for position in the final sprint.

Read: Historic Tour to commemorate 100 years since WW1

"I tried to find a gap that wasn't there. I spoke to Simon after the stage, I asked if he was OK, and I also spoke to him on the phone later and apologized to him," added the 29-year-old Cavendish.

The "Manx Missile", he hails from the Isle of Man, was looking to add to his 25 Tour de France stage victories, targeting the opening leg and the flat third stage from Cambridge into London.

The likelihood that Cavendish would not start the second stage did not deter the hundreds of thousands of fans who watched the action in the county of Yorkshire, exceeding even the expectations of local organizers.

"I want to say to all the supporters at the Tour to enjoy it, it's going to be an incredible race. It was amazing to see the support that was out yesterday and I'm looking forward to watching it," he said.

German sprint star Marcel Kittel, who had been in yellow after taking the first stage, was unable to keep pace on the climbs of the second day, but is expected to feature strongly on Monday's third leg from Cambridge to London when massive crowds are again expected.

Read: British royals watch Cavendish take a tumble

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:37 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Photography can really pack a punch. Catch up with all the best shots from around the world with our weekly sports gallery.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:36 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Second-tier French side Clermont Foot appoint Helena Costa -- the country's first ever professional female coach of a male team.
updated 11:13 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
San Francisco 49ers owner and co-chairman John York speaks to CNN about Michael Sam and the upcoming NFL Draft.
updated 1:33 PM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
updated 9:08 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
updated 7:54 AM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
updated 6:25 AM EST, Mon January 20, 2014
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
When the eye of the storm closes in most people head home -- but for these surfers it's a different story.
updated 9:45 AM EST, Mon January 6, 2014
Gareth Evans is a school teacher in South Africa. In 1983, he attended a "rebel tour" cricket match against the West Indies.
updated 10:07 AM EST, Tue December 17, 2013
In the wake of protests in his native Ukraine, heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has turned his back on boxing to focus on his political ambitions.
updated 5:20 AM EDT, Fri August 9, 2013
Former pole vaulter Sergei Bubka is running to be president of the International Olympic Committee.
The Olympics must use its global reach and immense popularity to help save a generation, says sporting icon Sergei Bubka.
updated 12:32 PM EDT, Wed August 7, 2013
CNN's Fred Pleitgen exposes a history of German government-funded doping throughout the Cold War.
updated 12:28 PM EDT, Tue April 9, 2013
A competitor crosses the erg Znaigui during the second stage of the 26rd edition of the 'Marathon des Sables', on April 4, 2011, some 300 Kilometers, South of Ouarzazate in Morocco. The marathon is considered one of the hardest in the world, with 900 participants having to walk 250 kms (150 miles) for seven days in the Moroccan Sahara.
A six-day run that covers more than 220 km through the scorching heat of the Sahara desert has been billed as the "World's toughest race."
updated 7:49 AM EDT, Wed April 10, 2013
He plays the only sport approved by the Taliban, a game he learned as a war refugee in Pakistan.
ADVERTISEMENT