When I think of England, a few things come to mind: Buckingham Palace, Jack the Ripper and Queen Elizabeth and her heirs. But hills? Apparently England has mountains. Who knew? In fact, there were seven tough hill climbs in today’s stage 2 at the Tour de France, which started in York and ended 125 miles later in Sheffield. Today’s climbs were not as monstrous as the French Alps or the Pyrenees that racers will face in the coming weeks, but the British hills were steep enough that star riders like Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali were attacking up the final ascent in an attempt to make time on their rivals.
In the final mile, Nibali attacked and won the stage two seconds ahead of the main pack, just enough time to put him in the maillot jaune. Although he was rewarded with the yellow jersey, Nibali was denied a kiss from one of the podium girls.