Montpellier (France) (AFP) – Peter Sagan won his second stage of the Tour de France as Chris Froome extended his overall lead on Wednesday.
Sagan beat Froome in a sprint finish after the pair were amongst an inspired four-man breakaway group in the final 13km that took the other overall contenders by surprise.
Froome gained six seconds on his rivals as well as picking up six more bonus seconds at the end of a rapid 162.5km 11th stage from Carcassonne to Montpellier.
He now leads fellow Briton Adam Yates by 28sec with Dan Martin third at 31sec.
But it was another stroke of genius from Froome to snatch a handful of seconds from his yellow jersey rivals following his victory on last Friday’s seventh stage when he attacked on a downhill finish to gain 13sec plus another 10 bonus seconds.
This time it was Sagan, who also won the second stage, and Maciej Bodnar who made the break in blustery conditions with Sky’s Froome and Geraint Thomas attentive enough to latch onto the back of the Tinkoff pair.
The rest of the peloton took time to react and the front four quickly had a 20-second lead.
Not only did the break cost the likes of Nairo Quintana time to Froome — he’s now fourth at 35sec — but it also surprised the sprinters hoping for a stage victory as Sagan increased his grip on the green points jersey.