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Tour de France 2010: Sylvain Chavanel Wins Wild Stage 2, Takes Maillot Jaune

Emerging from another rainy, chaotic day at the 2010 Tour de France, the third day of racing, was Sylvain Chavanel, the Frenchman who rides for Quick Step. Chavanel attacked early and often, breaking away just 17 km into the race from Brussels to Spa, and stayed out in front for the rest of the day, crossing the finish line first some 183 km later.

It is Chavanel's second ever stage win at the Tour, and the first time he will don the yellow jersey.

Monday's Stage 2 was marred by another collection of nasty crashes.

A wet descent threw the race into chaos today allowing Sylvain Chavanel to win from a daylong break. Behind him several GC riders fought with all they had to avoid timelosses after the big crash. The Schleck-brothers managed to reconnect but the detante in the field cost Fabian Cancellara and Saxo Bank the leaders jersey.

Indeed, Andy Schleck, last year's second-place finisher in the Tour, fell victim to the rain-slicked roads of Belgium, and was seen favoring his left arm and shoulder, with his right elbow and leg bloodied and scratched. He eventually took a teammates' bike and got back into the race. It is not known how severe his injuries are.

The Peloton crossed the finish almost four minutes after Chavanel, and did so together, out of protest for dangerous road conditions, with no sprinting, per the strict instructions from Fabian Cancellara. As such, the first 123 riders after Chavanel all received the same time.

Italy's Alessandro Petacchi will wear the green jersey (sprint points) since Chavanel is wearing yellow, while Jérôme Pineau will take the polka dot jersey (top climber).

General Classification After Stage 2:

1. Sylvain Chavanel, Quick Step 
2. Fabian Cancellara, Team Saxo Bank (+ 02:57)
3. Tony Martin, Team HTC-Columbia (+ 03:07)
4. David Millar, Garmin-Transitions (+ 03:17)
5. Lance Armstrong, Team Radioshack (+ 03:19)

The defending champion, Alberto Contador (Astana), is in seventh position, 03:24 back.

The Tour enters France for the first time on Tuesday, with a 132-mile Stage 3, eight miles of which is cobblestones, culminating with the Trouée d'Arenberg (Arenberg Trench), considered to be the most difficult part of the Paris-Roubaix road race. For more on all things Tour de France, head on over to Podium Cafe.