AJACCIO, Corsica -- Britain's Chris Froome delivered a message to his Tour de France rivals on Sunday by briefly bursting clear of the pack.

The Sky team leader chased a breakaway rider on the final climb of the Stage 2 ride from Bastia to Ajaccio -- a tactic designed to give him an easier downhill ride.

Barely two minutes later, the pack caught Froome, but the message was sent. Other expected title contenders, including Spain's Alberto Contador, didn't give chase.

Such flair is unusual for the pre-race favorite so early in the three-week event.

Froome told the Sky team's website: "It's always good to keep people on their toes."

He finished 35th in the stage won by Belgium's Jan Bakelants and trails 18th overall -- 1 second back.

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