Dan Martin takes third at Tour de France

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The defending champion still holds sixth position heading into the third stage on Monday and was encouraged by the fact that his rivals did not take advantage of the nasty-looking crash, which involved another of the tour's main contenders, Romain Bardet, and opening stage winner Geraint Thomas.

But Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) took a second to clip his shoe back in before accelerating to outsprint Australian Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) and Martin (Quick-Step Floors).

So Thomas remains in the Tour lead for a third straight day, with Froome now well-placed to pounce for the yellow should his team-mate falter on Wednesday's first mountain top finish.

Usually he is phenomenally strong at the start and clings on his lead, but this time I think he could be building in strength this year all the way to the final Alpine stages and the time trial at Marseille.

While trying to defend his title, Chris Froome and Team Sky became entangled along with other riders when Katusha's Reto Hollenstein came down with 22 kilometres to go to the end of Stage 2, reports Cycling News. "I'm happy to get through unscathed".

It's also the site of one of the top spa resorts in France and has a no pesticide policy around its water resources, making it an ideal place to relax after a tough stage of racing, even if the riders decline to try the local speciality: frog tart.

He hit the front about 500m from the line and looked nonchalantly over his shoulder at his rivals, who were on the limit, while he barely seemed to be pedalling.

"It was a strange finale, Richie went hard in the last 700-800 metres".

For the race's first full road stage following Saturday's opening time trial, Kittel clocked slightly more than 4 1/2 hours over the mostly flat 203.5-kilometer (126-mile) leg from Duesseldorf, Germany to Liege.

"I don't know what to say", Kittel said.

Froome and Porte made a wise decision by starting more conservatively in order to avoid crashing or falling during the Grand Depart.

I saw my teammate (Nicolas Roche) bin it and I was petrified to be honest.

As he often does after big wins, Kittel dropped to the ground and started crying after he crossed the line.

For the first time since 1987 when West Berlin hosted the race, the Tour de France returns to Germany.

After a cool and damp start, hotter and dry weather will plague racers and spectators at the The 104th edition of the Tour de France through midweek.

"Every year before the Tour nobody is saying it's been someone's year".

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