Cycling: The shark bit. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) surprised the assembled favorites in the final and won with a late solo ahead of Belgian Greg van Avermaet (BMC) and Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). Nibali takes over the yellow jersey from Marcel Kittel (Giant Shimano).
The 201-kilometre second stage of the day featured nine climbs in the fourth to second categories on the way to the finish in Sheffield. The profile had previously been compared by many to that of the classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
And the course of the race also resembled a classic. First, a group of seven led by the Spaniard David de la Cruz (NetApp-Endura) and the Frenchman Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis), who took the jersey of the best climber from Jens Voigt (Trek).
The group was able to gain a maximum lead of three minutes on the field for the yellow coat and the overall favorites. On Holme Moss, the toughest climb of the day, Bel Kadri (Ag2R La Mondiale) broke away from the group and could hold the lead for several kilometers as a result.
The Frenchman also managed to keep a chasing group of Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Marcus Burghardt (BMC) at bay. However, 35 kilometers from the finish, his escape was history.
At this point, Marcel Kittel had already lost touch with the field and lost more than 20 minutes to the day's winner. Cannondale wanted to take advantage of this situation and pave the way for the yellow jersey for Peter Sagan with a tight pace. However, the finale was not to the Slovak's liking.
First it was Frenchman Pierre Rolland (Europcar), who broke away from the field and was only caught on the last climb. However, this came up with an average of 10 percent and called the favorites onto the scene. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) was the first to show up at the front, who was also able to easily follow a late pace increase by Chris Froome (Sky).
Until then, Nibali largely stayed in the background. On the descent to Sheffield, however, he was wide awake. After his team-mate Jakob Fuglsang had made two attacks with Sagan, he fled to the front with 1,5 kilometers to go. With his appearance, he surprised the assembled competition. A later attempt by Froome, together with world champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), to catch up with the Italian failed.
Nibali ended up winning by two seconds ahead of Van Avermaet and Kwiatkowski. He also takes over the yellow jersey of the overall leader. Peter Sagan takes over the green jersey and retains the best young professional's white jersey. The new climber is Cyril Lemoine.