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Summary

  1. Andre Greipel wins stage
  2. Mark Cavendish finishes fourth
  3. Froome gains 1 min 28 secs on Nibali & Quintana
  4. Fabian Cancellara takes the yellow jersey

Live Reporting

By Chris Osborne

All times stated are UK

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  1. Stage 3

    Antwerp - Huy, 159.5km (99.1 miles)

    Tour de France stage three profile

    Well, that's it from us. Surely tomorrow can't be as exciting. Oh, what's that? A climb finish? Maybe not.

    Let Geraint Thomas, in his stage-by-stage guide, tell you about what to expect.

    "My job will be all about getting Chris Froome into a good position at the last climb, the Mur de Huy, which you may know from the Spring Classic La Fleche Wallonne race, but after then you never know. The final stretch has gradients of 19% but at just 1km long there's not much to it, it's just about getting to the top fastest."

  2. 'I couldn't have hoped for more'

    Chris Froome tells ITV: "I'm really thankful to my team-mates for keeping me in front, especially when that split happened. I'm glad it worked out the way it did. I couldn't have hoped for much more at this stage. One second Nibali was next to me so I couldn't believe it when he was distanced."

  3. Yellow jersey

    Cancellara

    Yellow jersey wearer Fabian Cancellara tells ITV: "What sprinters would you want around you more? I had them there and I knew I had to go somewhere but I didn't know where. It was not my best sprint but it's what I needed to get yellow."

  4. 'It's perfect'

    Team Sky's Geraint Thomas tells ITV: "The crash was a silly crash after the sprint. I landed on my bum but it was ok. During the storm it was hard enough to see where you were going. I didn't realise the gap was as big as a minute and a half, it's perfect, I wouldn't turn that down."

  5. Race for yellow

    Yellow Jersey

    Classification

    Chris Froome

    So here is how the GC contenders look after stage two. Quintana will have to live up to his reputation in the mountains to pull this one back. Chris Froome and Team Sky will be happy.

    10th Froome - +48secs

    14th Contador - +1min

    31st Pinot - +2mins 7secs

    33rd Nibali - +2mins 9secs

    44th Quintana - +2mins 27secs

  6. Race for yellow - Froome in front

    Nairo Quintana AP

    This was a bad day for Nairo Quintana. It was probably an even a worse day for Vincenzo Nibali. Both of those men finished in a group one minute and 28 seconds behind GC rival Chris Froome.

    Team Sky's Froome finished among the sprint finishers and is 10th in the GC, 48 seconds behind Fabian Cancellara.

  7. Top five in GC after stage two

    Yellow Jersey

    Classification

    1. Fabian Cancellara

    2. Tony Martin +3secs

    3. Tom Dumoulin +6secs

    4. Peter Sagan +33secs

    5. Geraint Thomas +35secs

  8. Top five on stage two

    1. Andre Greipel

    2. Peter Sagan

    3. Fabian Cancellara

    4. Mark Cavendish

    5. Daniel Oss

  9. Post update

    Stage winner Andre Greipel: "It was a pretty tough stage with a lot of cross wind. I was really nervous but the team managed to keep me at the front. That was the key factor. I'm really happy with my team-mates and proud."

  10. Classy Cancellara

    Yellow Jersey

    Classification

    Fabian Cancellara wearing Tour de France leader's jersey in 2012

    In terms of the yellow, it's that stalwart Fabian Cancellara who will wear it on stage three. The Swiss came third on the stage, giving him a four-second bonus and that, combined with his tidy time trial yesterday, has put him top of the GC.

  11. Cav fourth

    It was Mark Cavendish who made the first move in that sprint and he's come off worst. Peter Sagan, who had a puncture 15 minutes ago, came second, and Fabio Cancellara has pipped Cav into third.

  12. Greipel wins stage two

    Germany's Andre Greipel times his move perfectly and the Lotto-Soudal has his hand aloft.

  13. Sprint has started

    Mark Cavendish moves, Andre Greipel is with him...

  14. 2km remaining

    The lead group sweep across a dramatic bridge, water rushing below them. A brief ride on a finger of land and then another bridge. It's gorgeous to look at.

    Geraint Thomas makes a move to stretch it out for his team-mate Chris Froome.

  15. 4km remaining

    The second group are one minute and 25 seconds back. Quintana and Nibali can't afford for that to stretch. Are you ready for a sprint? Buckle in.

  16. 7km remaining

    Sunshine and no wind. It's what we promised all along, isn't it? The sprint should be spectacular, and will travel along a causeway stretching into the north seas and on to the man-made island of Neeltje Jabs.

  17. Your Sunday cycle snaps

    #bbccycling

  18. Super Sagan

    9km remaining

    Peter Sagan, 10km after suffering a puncture, has jumped on a spare bike and has caught up with the front group. What will that have taken out of the Tinkoff-Saxo man for the sprint finish?

  19. Post update

    Matt Slater

    BBC Sport at the Tour de France

    "The riders have reached the most exposed part of the course now but the weather is being kind on them. The wind turbines at the finish line are hardly turning.

    "There is still a lot of water on the road and there is a sequence of roundabouts to get through in the run-in to the drag strip along the bridge.

    "Cavendish's team have given him the easiest ride possible today so he will be desperate to repay them. Slightly surprised not to see Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas on front of lead group....oh, right on cue. Sir Dave has given them the hurry-up."

  20. Post update

    Yellow Jersey scenario

    With current yellow jersey wearer Rohan Dennis in the second group, there is a chance for Tom Dumoulin, Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara to lay claim to the yellow as we enter the final 10km.

  21. Your Sunday cycling snaps

    #bbccycling

  22. 14.4km remaining

    Lead group 58secs ahead

    A minor blow for Alberto Contador as Tinkoff-Saxo team-mate Daniele Bennati has a mechanical. That's one less man to help the Spaniard for the time being.

    Oh, and now Peter Sagan has a mechanical too. Can he get back in time to threaten Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel in the sprint?

  23. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Incredible. No doubt Vincenzo Nibali will have his team-mates dropping back to help him soon but that really is bad luck for him."

  24. 22km remaining

    As it stands

    Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan are in the front group and will fight in a sprint finish.

    Chris Froome and Alberto Contador are with them, looking to gain time in the general classification.

    GC rival Nairo Quintana is in the yellow jersey group 50 seconds back.

    GC rival Vincenzo Nibali is chasing the second group after a puncture.

  25. Post update

    Tour de France Peloton
  26. Nibali flat tyre

    Vincenzo Nibali, already in a spot of bother in the group behind the leaders, gets a puncture. It's a nightmare for the 2014 winner. A quick tyre change and he's weaving in between the support cars to try and rejoin his Astana team-mates. 

  27. Your Sunday cycle snaps

    #bbccycling

  28. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Who needs climbs to make for an interesting race? This one is flat as a pancake but it really has been a far cry from the ordinary.

    "Movistar and Astana have to commit 100% to this to try and bring this back together now. But when there are teams at the front who are willing to expend their energy it can be really tough. Team Sky will be happy to keep Chris Froome going at this pace."

  29. 'Your legs can't turn any faster'

    Mark Cavendish

    With the sprint finish approaching, why not get an insight into the battle, the fight and the tactics required, courtesy of Mark Cavendish.

    This wonderful piece by Tom Fordyce gives an idea of what the Manx Missile will be thinking about round about now.

  30. 33km remaining

    Leaders one minute ahead

    The group behind the 26 riders out in front has some whopping names in it. Nibali, Pinot, Dennis. And then even further back is Quintana. It's looking good for Froome and Contador up front.

  31. Your Sunday cycling snaps

    #bbccycling

  32. It's all a bit of a mess

    It really it is. It's like a few teams switched off and forgot that someone might make a move. Tinkoff-Saxo look in good shape, with Alberto Contador at the front. Chris Froome has good Team Sky numbers around him too. So it's a chance for the pair to put time between themselves and their yellow jersey rivals.

  33. Post update

    Matt Slater

    BBC Sport at the Tour de France

    "The peloton, or what's left of it, might be experiencing the weather we had at the finish an hour or so ago, but the good news is the weather at the finish is improving. Brightening skies and no rain. Wind has dropped, too.

    "But there are groups of riders all over the place now. This is going to be a great finish regardless of the weather."

  34. 'Horrendous scenes at the finish'

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "We've had incredible scenes here at the finish, there's been stuff blowing all over the place. Fortunately it is starting to die off now but earlier there's been lightening strikes just behind us. Since then it's started to brighten up but it was absolutely horrendous. The commentary box was moving - the whole thing has been rocking."

  35. Post update

    I've cycled in a bit of wind and rain myself. I often find it's easier and quicker to just to get off and push. Does that make me a bad person?

    Although it's brightened up now along the coastal road.

  36. 45.3km remaining

    Lotto-Soudal are dragging the peloton on, with Mark Cavendish and his Etixx-Quick Step team-mates in the mix. But they've shrugged off a few more big names, with Vincenzo Nibali now in another group off the front along with Thibaut Pinot and yellow jersey wearer Rohan Dennis

  37. Peloton split

  38. Post update

    48.5km remaining

    The peloton has dropped a group of stragglers 48 seconds back, and that group contains Nairo Quintana. The Colombian is a yellow jersey contender, but won't come into his own until the mountain stages in week two. This could be an opportunity for Froome, Nibali and Contador to build up a cushion.

  39. Post update

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    If you want to accompany my words with the sound of live commentary, you can now do so by clicking the little audio button at the top.

  40. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "It's starting to pour down with rain and it's not long now before the wind really starts to hit them too, as they continue along the coast.

    "It's going to be extremely tight for the sprint today. It's all about the timing and having team-mates around you. Mark Cavendish of course has Mark Renshaw in his time to help guide him towards the finish."

  41. Your Sunday cycling snaps

    #bbccycling

  42. Post update

    A second group has splintered slightly off the back and there's a few Movistar and Team Sky jerseys in there, which is bad news for Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome, who will want team-mates to help them through to the finish. The rain and wind will make it tough to catch up.

  43. Crash

    A crash has pulled a few out of the peloton. Adam Hansen of Lotto-Soudal looks to have come off worse. He gets help from a support car and, it seems, a few punters, before getting on his way again.

  44. Wet stuff

    The rain is falling pretty heavy now, it's the wettest moments of the Tour so far. It's that fine stuff which may or may not soak you through. The camera lens on the camera needs a good wipe.

  45. Speed stat

  46. 62km remaining

    Breakaway is caught

    This is a very stubborn breakaway. They don't know when they're beaten. The peloton is within a few yards but yet Barta and Clement are gritting their teeth and pummeling on. It's to no avail. They're mow in the mixer.

  47. Your Sunday cycling snaps

    #bbccycling

  48. Thomas out of trouble

    We mentioned Geraint Thomas was caught up in a crash. You may remember he managed to win the Commonwealth Games road race despite a dramatic puncture near the end, so this is nothing new to him. He's back at the front with his Sky team-mates having a natter.

  49. 68.5km remaining

    Gap to peloton 48secs

    Plenty of bright yellow umbrellas alongside the road as we go into Hoogvliet. That tells you all you need to know about the weather. But loads of locals are braving the moist blusteriness. We're nearing the coast, where things could get very interesting.

    Three in the breakaway: Stef Clement of IAM, Armindo Fonseca of Bretagne-Séché Environnemen and Jan Barta of Bora-Argon.

  50. Your Sunday cycling snaps

    #bbccycling

  51. 73km remaining

    Gap to peoloton 57secs

    Breakaway

    You've got to give Jan Barta props here. It looked inevitable that he would have been swallowed whole by now but the Bora-Argon rider is out on his own at the front, a minute ahead of the peloton. Although he's got Clement and Fonseca just behind him.

  52. Your Sunday cycling snaps

    #bbccycling

  53. Post update

    Matt Slater

    BBC Sport at the Tour de France

    "So there we were, pootling along the coast road this morning on the way to Netherlands' answer to the Thames Barrier, thinking "this will be very dull without some weather to shake things up".

    "Well, the weather has arrived. Rain, a steady 20km/h NW wind and gusts that must be at least 10km/h more. I've just been back to the car to ditch the sunglasses, get a rain cover for the camera and an extra layer for me.

    "Enjoy Rotterdam's cloud cover, lads, it's only going to get worse."

  54. Carnage

  55. Crash

    A minor collision has put a few off their bikes. Britain's Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas is on the tarmac, as is Wilco Kelderman. The support cars are working frantically and they should be able to get back on to the rear of the peloton.

  56. Your Sunday cycling snaps

    #bbccycling

    Keep them coming folks. Use #bbccycling on Twitter

  57. Intermediate sprint

    The first four in the breakaway - Barta, Clement, Quemeneur and Fonseca - have the sprint wrapped up, with Barta over first.

    Mark Cavendish opts to not go for fifth, suggesting the stage is more important to him than the points. Instead it's Degnkolb, Kristoff and Sagan who take fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.

  58. Sprint decisions

    We're close to the intermediate sprint in Rotterdam. Here's how the points work for the intermediate and finish line sprints.

    The first five riders in the Rotterdam sprint will get 20, 17, 15, 13 and 11 points.

    At the finish it's 50, 30, 20, 18, 16.

  59. 89.6km remaining

    Gap to peloton 28secs

    All that effort to catch the breakaway and now they don't seem that bothered. The gap is at 28 seconds and the peloton seems happy with that.

    Meanwhile, this could be Rotterdam.

    Or anywhere. Liverpool or Rome.

  60. Your Sunday cycling snaps

    #bbccyling

  61. 95km to go

    Gap to peloton 24secs

    Driven on by Tinfoff-Saxo and Team Sky, the breakaway is up the road. Bora-Argon's Jan Barta fancies trying to open the gap a bit more though. He pulls the first group on a bit and opens up a 24-second gap.

  62. 98.5km remaining

    Gap to peloton 15secs

    The four in the breakaway are manically looking over their shoulders. They're about to be eaten up by the peloton, with about 13km until the intermediate sprint.

  63. Post update

  64. Your Sunday cycling snaps

    #bbccyling

  65. Gap dropping

    The gap is dropping like a lead balloon. It's down to 40 seconds. Positions are changing in the peloton with riders looking to get shelter from the wind behind each other. There's a remarkable split as they go different ways around a roundabout.

    Contador, Froome and Quintana are up at the front of the pack. I've yet to spot Nibali...

  66. 103.5km remaining

    Gap to peloton 2'10''

    The team leaders are at the front of the peloton and they will have just seen a bloke in a yellow jacket on a motorbike hold up a board telling them they are 2mins 10secs from the breakaway.

    Alberto Contador has had enough and his pulling the peloton along, yelling at his team-mates. It's becoming stretched now.

  67. Post update

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Tour

    The BBC Radio 5 live team have reached the finish line. It looks, erm, beautiful there...

    There's commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra from 15:00 BST.

  68. 110.5km remaining

    Gap to peloton 2'20''

    It's the Tinkoff-Saxo boys, with Alberto Contador in tow, at the front of the peloton an they're just being joined by Chris Froome's Team Sky. The gap is dropping. They probably heard about the weather by reading this live text.

  69. Chaos and mayhem

    If you don't believe me, here's the opinion of a former yellow jersey wearer Jens Voigt.

  70. Ready for the wind?

    Apparently the arch to mark the 1km-to-go point has been taken down because it's so windy. It's going to get arduous on the coast.

  71. 116.9km remaining

    Gap to peloton 2''34'

    What's the best type of cheese?

    Gouda. (Get it? You have to say it like gooder. Oh well)

    Anyway, we're in Gouda, which is where the cheese comes from. It's all copper coloured tiled roofs surrounding a whopping big church (St John). That breakaway of four riders is staying at a steady distance up the road.

  72. Your Sunday cycling snaps

    #bbccycling

    Keep your cycling snaps coming - use #bbcycling on Twitter.

  73. Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

    Nope. It's that crazy dude I mentioned earlier who's flying around on a water-jet powered bike.

    Polka dot flying cyclist
  74. Paris calling?

    Tour

    There will be live coverage of stage two on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra from 15:00 BST today. The team are winding their away across the Netherlands, and might have thought they took a wrong turn at one point....

  75. 124km remaining

    2'37'

    The breakaway has added a minute to the gap over the past few kilometres. Nothing to worry about just yet for Mark Cavendish's Etixx-Quickstep, but they won't want that to grow much more, particularly if the weather is dodgy on the coast.

    Some lovely aerial shots of this south-westerly part of the Netherlands. If you've ever spent a lot of time in the Fens in East Anglia, you'll be familiar with this remarkable level of flatness.

  76. Raining at the finish

    ...ah

  77. 127.5km remainng

    Gap to peloton 2'40''

    A few extra seconds added to the gap there as we go through Oudewater. There are some very ominous looking clouds up ahead. Big heavy grey ones that look like they could get angry at any moment. I hope they're not at the finish line...

  78. Cav's big day?

    This tweet from Cav this morning shows that he fancies it today.

  79. 32km

    Gap to peloton 2'43

    Beautiful scenes as we head through Montfoort. I know the Dutch do windmills well but this is a cracker. It's in the middle of the town and the sails have been adorned with Tour yellow. Delightful.

  80. Post update

    The Manx Missile

    Cavendish

    Mark Cavendish and his Etixx-Quick Step team will fancy a crack at the stage win today. It's the type of stage the Manx man will need to do well in if has designs on that green jersey. There's also an intermediate sprint in Rotterdam, which we'll hit in about 50km.

    Last year's points winner Peter Sagan might not excel today, but the likes of Andre Greipel and Alexander Kristoff might fancy a pop if we get a bunch finish.

  81. Your Sunday cycling snaps

    #bbccycling

  82. 28.3km

    Gap to peloton 2'41''

    That gap between the peloton and the breakaway is hovering consistently around a minute and a half. Mark Cavendish's Etixx-Quick Step team and yellow jersey wearer Rohan Dennis's BCM look unfazed.

    We're heading through what looks like Dutch suburban bliss and the streets are lined with thousands of people. The noise is constant and impressive.

  83. 20km

    Gap to peloton 2'15''

    Matt Slater

    BBC Sport at the Tour de France

    "We have an early break and they went as soon as the flag dropped at kilometre zero: Bora's Jan Barta, Stef Clement of IAM, Armindo Fonseca of Bretagne-Seche and Europcar rider Perrig Quemeneur.

    "They have built a lead of 2'15" after 20km but nobody in the peloton looks remotely concerned, completely unsurprisingly.

    "Mark Cavendish's Etixx-Quick Step comrades are leading the "chase". Don't worry, they'll ramp it up later."

  84. Post update

    I finally have live pictures of racing (could you tell I was padding?). And the first thing we see is a bloke, on a bike attached to a jet pack, hovering above a body of water. He's wearing a polka dot jersey, so possibly fancies himself as the king of the mountains.

  85. Your Sunday cycling snaps

    #bbccycling

  86. Dennis denied?

    Rohan Dennis may have just been stitched up by his own team here. Officially, he broke the record for the quickest average speed around a Tour time trial yesterday.

    But his BCM team say the GPS on his bike shows that his distance was 300m less than the advertised 13.8km. If that's true, then Chris Boardman's record is intact.

    There you go. Cycling is the most honest and trustworthy sport in the world...

    ITV 4 presenter Gary Imlach has just shaken Boardman's hand to congratulate him. Boardman looks sheepish.

  87. 15km

    Gap to peloton 1min 40secs

    Four riders have made an early burst - Clement, Barta, Quemeneur, and Fonseca. But the peloton look ready to mount a chase.

  88. Your Sunday cycle snaps

    #bbccycling

    It's Sunday. The weather's nice.

    We want your photos of your cycle rides today. And tell us where you're going. Use #bbccycling on Twitter.

  89. Post update

    Chris Boardman

    Olympic cycling champion on ITV

    Rohan Dennis broke Chris Boardman's record average speed around a Tour de France time trial. Here is what Boardman had to say.

    "It was a phenomenal ride on a longer course and in windier conditions. So it was an incredible ride."

  90. Let's race!

    While it was fun to watch man against clock in yesterday's time trial, it's pretty exciting to get down to tactics and breakaways. The ceremonial stuff is all done, and the riders are on their way out of Utrecht. It's a depart of the grandest nature.

  91. 'The most stressful day'

    Geraint Thomas

    Team Sky's six-time Tour de France rider

    Tour de France stage two profile

    That coastal wind could play havoc with the peloton today. If the gusts pick up speed, you'll see riders try and get alongside each other, rather than drop into slip streams. It will create lines of riders that will look a bit like rungs on a ladder. If a gust cuts off one of those rungs, it will an absolute nightmare trying to get back into contention.

    Here is Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas's assessment of day two, and you can read his full breakdown of the route here.

    "This will probably be the most stressful day of the whole year's racing. It's along the coast and if there are a lot of crosswinds, that could split the race into groups. The teams with riders aiming for the yellow jersey will be trying to keep their guys at the front of the peloton so they don't lose time."

  92. What happened yesterday?

    Rohan Dennis

    Oh, nothing much. Just tens of thousands of Dutch people going bonkers as they watched a Tour de France record being broken.

    Australian Rohan Dennis rode the 13.8km time trial in Utrecht in 14 minutes and 56 seconds at an average speed of 55.446 km/h - the quickest average speed ever for a Tour stage.

    In terms of the yellow jersey contenders, the consensus is that Nairo Quintana came out best, with the climber having lost only about 20 seconds on his rivals with his specialist stages to come later in the Tour.

  93. Post update

    Matt Slater

    BBC Sport at the Tour de France

    "The Tour de France has finished BY the sea many times since 1903 but today is being billed as a first IN the sea, as the finish line is on an artificial island called Neeltje Jans, built as part of a giant barrier that protects Zeeland's islands from the North Sea's capricious moods. The Tour's director Christian Prudhomme has quipped it will be the first time the Tour sees offshore racing.

    "I'm not so sure about that - it reminds me of the A13 in Essex, Billy Bragg's "trunk road to the sea", with better engineering - but it could provide some thrilling action. The wind is starting to pick up and it will be blowing across the road. Strong enough to cause mayhem? We will know in less than four hours' time."

  94. Today's route

    Stage two route

    The Grand Depart will take us out of delightful Utrecht and south west towards Rotterdam. The peloton will go through Gouda on the way - a town which, in my opinion, has presented us with one of the finest cheeses.

    Then it's on to Zeeland, the most westerly province in the Netherlands. It's mainly a set of islands and peninsulas and it looks beautiful. It's also what New Zealand is named after.

    The route is flat, possibly blowy, and we should be done by 16:30 BST.

  95. Tweet us via #bbccycling

    Your Sunday cycle snaps

    So, the peloton will be having a fun Sunday cycle out to an island today. But are you getting on two wheels?

    Send us your photos or tell us about your favourite route if you're out and about. Use #bbcycling on Twitter.

  96. No man is an island

    Neeltje Jans

    I don't know about you, but after riding 166km, I quite like to watch some sea lions do their groovy sea lion thing. And that's exactly what our Tour de France riders could do today, after they reach the finish line on the stunning man-made island of Neeltje Jans. It was built to help the construction of the Oosterschededam and now has a fun park and wildlife centre.

    It also looks totally cool.

    It's flat and windy all the way there from Utrecht. There won't be the drama of climbs today, but there could be plenty of action.