French rider Victor Lafay made a late move to break away from the pack and give Cofidis its first Tour de France stage win in 15 years on Sunday, with Adam Yates keeping the overall lead after the opening two stages in northern Spain.

Lafay took the lead within the final kilometre (0.6 miles) and held on for victory in what was the Tour’s longest stage this year. French team Cofidis hadn’t won in the Tour since Sylvain Chavanel triumphed in the 19th stage of the 2008 edition.

The 27-year-old Lafay had won one other stage victory at a Grand Tour race, in the 2021 Giro d’Italia.

Wout van Aert of Jumbo-Visma was second and Tadej Pogacar third at the finish line in the Basque Country city of San Sebastian after a hilly stage of more than 200 kilometres (124 miles).

Yates, the winner of the opening stage on Saturday, finished close behind to retain the overall leader’s yellow Jersey. He was six seconds ahead of race-favorite Pogacar and, who was second on Saturday.

Defending champion Jonas Vingegaard recovered after being involved in a minor crash in the peloton earlier in the stage. He dropped to sixth overall.

American Neilson Powless of team EF Education-EasyPost retained the red polka dot jersey for best climber. The winner of the San Sebastian Classic in 2021, Powless was among the three-man break that moved to the front early on, and eventually took the solo lead before the peloton caught up and dropped him with about 20 kilometres (12 miles) to go.

The 110th edition of cycling’s biggest race is taking place amid continued unrest in France after a triggered by the deadly shooting of a 17-year-old by police.

Monday’s third stage begins in Spain but crosses into France in a 193-kilometre (120-mile) route that is mostly flat and will culminate with the first sprint finish of the Tour this year.

Torstein Traaen rode with a fractured elbow after a crash in the opening stage. Enric Mas and Richard Carapaz withdrew from the race after getting injured on Saturday.

Source: Euronews

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