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Tour de France 2024: Tadej Pogacar takes yellow jersey

Tadej Pogacar moved into the leader’s yellow jersey as France’s Kevin Vauquelin won stage two of the Tour de France.

Vauquelin took his first Grand Tour stage victory after breaking away from the front group, making the Arkea-B&B Hotels rider the second French winner of the 2024 race already.

Pogacar, of UAE-Team Emirates, powered away on the final climb of the 199.2km stage to Bologna, Italy, but took his main rival and last year’s winner Jonas Vingegaard with him.

Dane Vingegaard of Visma-Lease a Bike crossed the line with Pogacar, but the Slovenian took the yellow jersey after having a higher placing in the first stage.

Asked if he had wanted to go for the stage win, Pogacar said: “No, because the breakaway was too hard and in this weather, this heat, it would be unnecessary to kill my team-mates.

“We just left it to natural selection and it was like this in the end. For sure to have gone for the stage win could have also backfired so we decided to be more calm and tranquil, but in the final I tried to test myself.”

Pogacar and Vingegaard, who between them have won the last four editions of La Grande Boucle, share the same overall time, along with Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel of Soudal-Quick Step and Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz of EF Education-Easy Post.

Primoz Roglic was arguably the day’s biggest loser, conceding 21 seconds to both Pogacar and Vingegaard as he crossed the line in a 19-man group of general classification hopefuls.

Among that number were the Ineos Grenadiers trio of Carlos Rodriguez, Egan Bernal and Tom Pidcock, as well as brothers Simon and Adam Yates and Saturday’s stage winner Romain Bardet.

The 2018 champion Geraint Thomas, who is playing a supporting role to Rodriguez and Bernal at the race, ended up over four minutes further back.

On Monday, the race travels 230.8km from Plaisance to Turin and should conclude in a sprint finish to give Mark Cavendish the opportunity to claim a record 35th stage win at the Tour.

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