Sunday, 3 July 2016

Tour de France 2016 live stream: Time, TV schedule and route for Stage 2

Mark Cavendish will ride Stage 2 of the 2016 Tour de France while wearing the yellow jersey for the first time in his prestigious career. He'll fight like hell to keep it, but he'll have his hands full with a finish that isn't quitesuited to his sensibilities.

The Tour remains in Normandy, but throws some hills into the mix along the route from Saint-Lô to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. The stage finishes on a short-but-significant hill that includes a stretch of 14 (!) percent gradient. This is a day for the Classics-inclined -- climbers who like to punch and sprinters who don't mind standing up in the saddle.

Peter Sagan is, as always, in contention to take the stage, especially after showing good form to put himself in the thick of Saturday's finish. Veteran hands like Alejandro Valverde and Fabian Cancellara should also factor into the mix. Etixx-QuickStep teammates Julian Alaphilippe and Dan Martin are both well-suited for the terrain, and won't hesitate to help each other for most of the stage.

Hopefully Stage 2 can remain incident free. Stage 1 saw several riders tumble to the ground. First was general classification contender Alberto Contador, who tore his kit along his right side after slipping around a bend midway through the day. Then, as the peloton approached the finish line, Katusha rider Michael Morkov clipped a barrier and took several riders down with him.

The stage will skirt the Normandy shoreline once again, making high winds a worry. If riders can remain upright, it should set up a great finale that any number of riders could win.

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