Greipel wins second stage of Tour de France

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Zeeland (Netherlands), July 6 (IANS) German rider Andre Greipel won the second stage of the Tour de France with narrow advantage on Sunday and reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali and fellow favorite Nairo Quintana lost time.

Greipel won the 166-km ride from Utrecht to Zeeland in the Netherlands in three hours 29 minutes and three seconds, edging out Peter Sagan by just a fraction of a wheel length, Xinhua news agency reported.

Swiss veteran Fabian Cancellara took third and four bonus seconds to take the yellow jersey from overnight leader Rohan Dennis of Australia.

Tony Martin, who started the day in second, one place and one second ahead of Cancellara, could only finish ninth and now trails the Swiss Trek rider by three seconds, with Tom Dumoulin third overall at six seconds.

The race took place in heavy winds and driving rain and it proved a bad day for Nibali, Quintana and Frenchman Thibaut Pinot, who all rolled in 1:28 behind Greipel. That deficit could hurt them when the race hits the mountains later on.

Monday’s third stage takes the peloton 157-km from Antwerp in Belgium to the brutal uphill finish at the Mur de Huy, where a few seconds could be gained.

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