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Hunter survives more crashes

Crashes were again the order of the day on stage two of the Tour De France cycle race on Monday.

And sole South African rider, Robbie Hunter also found himself plumeting down the general classification (GC) rankings. Lying 21st after the first stage proper on Sunday, Hunter is now way back down in 143rd spot out of the 193 riders that finished Monday’s racing.

The stage was an undulating 201 kilometres from Brussels to Spa and Hunter ended 9min 29sec behind Quick Step’s Sylvain Chavenel who broke away early and rode his way into the leader’s jersey.

And what better way for the Frenchman to celebrate than by wearing the famed maillot jaune as the race enters French territory on stage three to Porte du Hainaut.

While Chavanel was celebrating, some way behind him the peloton staged a “go-slow” ride to the finish as many of the race favourites hit the deck 30km out from home in what was at least the second spill of the day.

Making things even more interesting is the fact that the much talked about cobbles are still lying in wait.

With it being six years since the TDF last had cobbled to contend with they come in Tuesday’s 213km ride from Wanze-Arenberg with 13.2km of bumpy perils spread over seven sections.

Four of them are in France with the final section just 10km from the finish so it would seem survival will be the first thought of the favourites.

Up front in the GC, Team Saxo Bank’s Fabian Cancellara is 2:57 down in second spot. Seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong fills fifth (3:19) and defending champion Alberto Contador sits in seventh (3:24).

Commenting on his Twitter feed Hunter said: “Its not about riding fast and crashing..the last 3 grand tours that been ridden up here have totally massacred the peleton. Its more about the small roads, islands, circles & stress because everybody tries to stay in front becuse of the s**t roads & hence the crashes. In the northern classic most of the bunch are used to riding on these roads most of the Tour peleton never ever do the classics

“Any ways another day in paradise.. tomorrow we got cobbles.. gonna be a spectacular stage.. should be fun specially behind the TV!”