Cycling

Bernal and Froome keep pace as Colbrelli wins bunch sprint

accreditation
Chris Froome (Getty)
Chris Froome (Getty)

Italian sprinter Sonny Colbrelli of the Bahrain-McLaren team won a bunch sprint on stage two of the four-day French Route d'Occitanie race on Sunday after a 174.5km run from Carcassonne to Cap Decouverte.

Britain's Chris Froome and Colombian Tour de France champion Egan Bernal are warming up on the race for the upcoming Tour which embarks from nearby Nice on August 29.

After embarking from the fortified city of Carcassonne with its medieval citadel the pair finished with the main pack being cheered on by a scattering of masked locals at the finish line at an adventure park.

Saturday's stage winner, French sprinter Bryan Coquard, came home second and keeps hold of the overall lead until Monday's mountain stage.

An early fall Sunday saw French hope Romain Bardet nursing a badly grazed left elbow and shoulder.

The run out is Bernal's first race in Europe since the Tour of Lombardy last October and he and the others face a real test on Monday's third stage which culminates with a long, tough climb.

A 24-hour traffic ban has already been imposed on the tough summit finish on Monday where spectators can climb by foot or on bike in an attempt to avoid the kind of pop up motorhome villages that straddle summit finishes on the Tour de France.

Some sections of the Col de Beyrede are at a staggeringly tough 17 percent incline, with one 1km section with an average of 12.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Would you be keen to see the Springboks join the Six Nations?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes! The Northern Hemisphere is the future.
52% - 2513 votes
No! The Rugby Championship is still the pinnacle.
48% - 2294 votes
Vote