FI’ZI:K’S FROOME SITS SAFELY IN 10TH

Crashes, punctures and a legend slipping into yellow has provided a near Shakesperian narrative to the opening two stages of this year’s Tour de France, but the favorite, Chris Froome (fi’zi:k Antares R1 saddle and Team Sky), could hardly have hoped for a better start to retaining his crown. The twice winner sits in 10th overall after finishing Sunday’s 182km stage from Saint-Lo to Cherbourg-Octeville safely in 10th place.

We say ‘safely’ because one of Froome’s rivals for le maillot jaune, Richie Porte (fi’zi:k Arione and BMC Racing), suffered a disaster, puncturing inside the last 5km as the leading riders cranked it up for the final climb to the finish. By the time the Australian had reached the stage end, he’d lost 1.45mins on his rivals.

Teammate and fellow GC contender, Tejay van Garderen (fi’zi:k Aliante VSX), however, lies safely among the leading riders, as does Movistar’s Nairo Quintana (fi’zi:k Antares 00), Thibaut Pinot (fi’zi:k Arione) and Romain Bardet (fi’zi:k Arione 00). It’s a different story for Alberto Contador, two crashes in two days damaging his GC chances.

‘It’s unfortunate and that comes with the territory in these kind of stages,’ said current champion Froome. ‘That’s why we make a big effort to be up front. Guys like Ian Stannard and Luke Rowe (both (fi’zi:k Arione R1) are up there protecting me.’ As is Geraint Thomas (fi’zi:k R1B Uomo shoes), who’s looked strong and composed as the riders move into Monday’s third stage – a 223.5km relatively flat effort from Granville to Angers, despite dropping some time after a late mechanical on stage 2 and now standing 38 seconds down.

Team Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish (fi’z:ik Arione) will be looking to add to his opening day’s stage victory, where the British rider not only racked up the 27th Tour stage win of his career but also wore the yellow jersey for the very first time.