Tour de France 2013 results: new name in yellow after Stage 2

The race needed an uneventful day with an exciting finish, and it got one. A surprise name emerged as the winner at the finish line.  Photo: Jan Bakelants wins Stage 2 / AP Photo Laurent Cipriani

SAN DIEGO, June 30, 2013 – After the crazy start to the 2013 Tour de France, the peloton needed a relatively uneventful day without drama on Sunday in Corsica. One odd incident just two and a half miles shy of the finish caused one heart pounding moment. Otherwise Stage 2 delievered, along with a new name wearing the yellow jersey who was a surprise stage winner.

A group of four riders attempted to break away from the peloton early, but could not hold on. Individual riders took turns attacking on the stage’s climbs incluing Tour favorite Chris Froome.

SEE RELATED: Results: Tour de France 2013 starts with chaos, crash filled first day

But at the finishing line, the day belonged to 27 year old Belgian rider Jan Bakelants, ridnig for the American team RadioShack Leopard Trek. Bakelants got his first win as a pro, and he seemed just as surprised as everyone else when he crossed the line ahead of his rivals in the main field.

Bakelants took a chance with one kilometer to go and pressed forward, and he managed to hold off a late charging Peter Sagan of Cannondale, who finished second.

An emotional Jan Bakelants of Belgium kisses the overall leader’s yellow jersey on the podium of Stage 2 of the Tour de France in Corsica island, France, Sunday. AP Photo/Laurent Rebours

Because Bakelants also had a one second time gap between himself and Sagan, he is now wearing the yellow jersey as the Tour leader. His winning time was three hours, 43 minutes, 11 seconds.

SEE RELATED: 2013 Tour de France TV schedule on NBC Sports, June 29 – July 21

Bakelants said he was riding with a small group as the finish approached, and instinct told him it was a golden opportunity. “I felt the others weren’t going at 100 percent so I stayed back, but then I saw the peloton were closing in on me,” the RadioShack rider said. “With 500 meters to go I had a look and I saw that I was still 100 meters clear of the peloton. I gave everything I had and I made it by one second. But that doesn’t matter, I have the yellow jersey.”

Bakelants had a tough year including knee surgery, saying it was misery. He said he was overwhelmed with joy at the finish line, and was still emotional after the yellow jersey ceremony. “It’s difficult to believe what happened today, it’s fantastic,” said Bakelants. “Today it may be the first and last time I ever wear the yellow jersey.”

Spectators gasped when a small white dog ran out onto the course two and a half miles shy of the finish line as the riders approached. The owner started to step out on the road but thought the better of it. He stepped back just in time as the leading riders whizzed past him. The dog then crossed the street again and missed being flattened by the rest of the oncoming peloton by inches. It could have been a real disaster for everyone.

As expected, the day’s route of rolling hills proved challenging for most of the pure sprinters. They were dropped off the back, including sprinting star Mark Cavendish of Omego Pharma Quickstep who was left out of the hunt on Saturday, and Stage 1 yellow jersey winner Marcel Kittel. The group rolled in 17 minutes after the winner crossed the finish line.

The top GC contenders all safetly finished the stage and are standing one second behind. Cadel Evans of BMC is in tenth place, although it’s meaningless at this point.

Michal Kwiatkowski of Omega Pharma Quickstep is wearing the best young rider’s white jersey. Pierre Rolland of Europcar won the first King of the Mountains jersey. Stage 1 winner Marcel Kittle kept the green sprinters jersey

All 198 riders remain in the race and will start Monday’s Stage 3, the final stage in Corsica. This stage from Ajaccio to Calvi is 90 miles which will hug the coastline. There isn’t a minute to rest and plenty of hills including a Category 2 climb right at the finish.

The peloton will need to work quite hard to stick together. A rider like Thomas Voeckler of Europcar who was aggressive Sunday might want to seize the reins here, especially after his excellent ride and surprising fourth place finish overall last year. It’s also possible one of the GC riders like Cadel Evans might take a chance early and see if he can gain time on his rivals. See the Stage 3 route here.

 Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News when quoting from or linking to this story.  

Copyright © 2013 by Falcon Valley Group

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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


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