Bakelants wins second stage of Tour de France to take yellow jersey
June 30, 2013 -- Updated 1726 GMT (0126 HKT)
Jan Bakelants dons the yellow jersey after winning the second stage of the Tour de France in Ajaccio.
- Jan Bakelants of Belgium wins second stage of 2013 Tour de France
- RadioShack Leopard rider also claims yellow jersey
- Race favorites Chris Froome, Cadel Evans and Alberto Contador finish in pack
- Tony Martin rides after heavy crash on first day
(CNN) -- Belgium's Jan Bakelants won the second stage of the Tour de France Sunday to take the yellow jersey on his debut in the famous race.
The 27-year-old, who rides for the RadioShack Leopard team, held off the charging peloton to win by just a single second after the 158km from Bastia to Ajaccio.
Slovakia's Peter Sagan and Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski finished second and third in their desperate bid to overhaul Bakelants.
Race favorite Chris Froome of Britain also made his presence felt for the first time, stretching clear on the final of four climbs on the day, before slowing up to allow a group of six riders, including Bakelants, to make their bid for victory.
Becoming a Tour de France champ
Armstrong's cycling legacy
Cavendish downplays Armstrong impact
Cycling's Next Generation
"I saw that, in the last 500 meters that I still had a gap and I said, 'Come one, hold this. It's going to be the nicest day of your life!' And then I did it," he told the official Tour de France website.
Read: First stage fiasco in Tour de France
"I knew I would probably also take this yellow jersey and it's incredible. Maybe it'll be the first and the last time in my career but today I wear it," he added.
It was his first win since turning professional in 2009 and he is the first Belgian a stage in the Tour de France since Jelle Vanendert in 2011.
He leads the overall standings by that single second from a host of riders, including Froome, 2011 Tour winner Cadel Evans and Spain's Alberto Contador, who had taken a nasty tumble in the chaotic end to the first stage Saturday.
Marcel Kittel of Germany won the opening stage, but on the mountainous terrain of Corsica could not stay with the peloton and finished 17 minutes 30 seconds adrift.
Read: Doping past haunts centenary Tour
Britain's sprint ace Mark Cavendish suffered a similar fate but last year's green jersey winner Sagan did grab valuable points in this year's battle with his second place.
Young French hopeful Pierre Rolland of Europcar claimed the polka dot jersey for the leader of the King of the Mountains classification after reaching the summit of the Col de Vizzanova in first place.
After the incredible events of the first day, when a team bus blocked the finish line, the stage passed off smoothly.
Omega Pharma-QuickStep's German star Tony Martin survived to the finish despite being hospitalized after a heavy fall in the crash which also claimed Contador.
The third and final leg of the Tour in Corsica will be a 145-km ride from Ajaccio to Calvi Monday.
Part of complete coverage on
August 9, 2013 -- Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)
The Olympics must use its global reach and immense popularity to help save a generation, says sporting icon Sergei Bubka.
August 7, 2013 -- Updated 1632 GMT (0032 HKT)
CNN's Fred Pleitgen exposes a history of German government-funded doping throughout the Cold War.
April 9, 2013 -- Updated 1628 GMT (0028 HKT)
A six-day run that covers more than 220 km through the scorching heat of the Sahara desert has been billed as the "World's toughest race."
April 10, 2013 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
He plays the only sport approved by the Taliban, a game he learned as a war refugee in Pakistan.
April 4, 2013 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
How do you like your sport? Blood, sweat, tears and a nailbiting finish, no doubt. But what about death?
April 5, 2013 -- Updated 0934 GMT (1734 HKT)
Disgraced doper Lance Armstrong's quest to take part in a swimming event in Texas appears to have been sunk before he's even hit the water.
December 18, 2012 -- Updated 1121 GMT (1921 HKT)
New research suggests the use of ice baths to aid recovery after intense exercise is not as beneficial as previously thought.
December 19, 2012 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
It's not easy carrying the burden of a sports-mad nation's lofty expectations of world-beating dominance on your shoulders.
December 6, 2012 -- Updated 1645 GMT (0045 HKT)
Forty days alone in the wilderness was enough for Jesus, but Lance Armstrong is facing an altogether longer period of solitude.
November 28, 2012 -- Updated 2142 GMT (0542 HKT)
The flip side to this health time bomb is the paradox that more and more amateur athletes are taking on extreme endurance challenges.
November 28, 2012 -- Updated 1937 GMT (0337 HKT)
All Black fly-half Dan Carter talks to CNN's Sophia Heath as New Zealand prepares to take on England at Twickenham.
November 29, 2012 -- Updated 1833 GMT (0233 HKT)
New Zealand's Dan Carter reveals the five fly-halfs that inspired him.
November 24, 2012 -- Updated 1636 GMT (0036 HKT)
Boxing legend Hector "Macho" Camacho has died. CNN's Nick Valencia looks back on his life.
July 31, 2012 -- Updated 1852 GMT (0252 HKT)
You may not be headed to the Olympics, but that doesn't mean you can't join in the fun! Welcome to the CNN iReport sports photo master class.
July 25, 2012 -- Updated 1203 GMT (2003 HKT)
Look over the edge as cliff divers compete in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012 in Portugal.
July 19, 2012 -- Updated 2229 GMT (0629 HKT)
The Houston Rockets sign basketball sensation Jeremy Lin after the New York Knicks fail to match their NBA rivals' three-year, $25 million offer.
May 31, 2012 -- Updated 1117 GMT (1917 HKT)
Reza Beluchi has been running all his life, running for freedom, running for peace. He ran away from his homeland, Iran, and has traveled the world.
Today's five most popular stories