Stage Report: After the crazy, wet stage 1, the weather that greeted the peloton in Nice for stage 2 was warm and dry. This was no normal second Tour stage, nothing here for the sprinters, just a lot of climbing. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) attacked on the final climb, similar to his move in Sanremo, and was joined by Marc Hirschi (Sunweb) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), he then won the sprint for the stage victory and the yellow jersey.
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A much nicer day in Nice
Stage 2 Route:
Tour director, Christian Prudhomme describes the stage: “The sprinter having captured the Yellow Jersey the previous day will be in a tricky situation as soon as the climb up to the Col de la Colmiane and will then have to face the steep turns heading to the Col de Turini and eventually head up to the Col d’Eze. A mountain stage with two passages at over 1,500m as soon as the second day of the race, that’s a grande première.”
The race was fast from the start due to the intermediate sprint after only 16 kilometres. After several attack attempts, eight riders managed to get away: Peter Sagan, Lukas Pöstlberger (both BORA-hansgrohe), Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale), Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Michael Gogl (NTT Pro Cycling) and Matteo Trentin (CCC). They soon had half a minute, then Trentin surprisingly beat Sagan in the intermediate sprint. The Italian immediately had a flat tyre and was soon back in the peloton.
CCC’s Matteo Trentin made it into the break, won the intermediate sprint and then punctured
After the sprint, the seven where kept at around 3 minutes by UAE Team Emirates. On the Col de la Colmiane, the first Cat 1 climb of this Tour, the peloton rode steadily. In the break, Cosnefroy attacked just before the top. The Frenchman managed to grab the 10 KOM points ahead of Perez and Asgreen. The peloton followed 2 minutes later, led by Jumbo-Visma.
UAE Team Emirates chased for a while
The peloton did not take any risks and gave the leading group an extra minute. With a difference of 3:10, the break started the Col de Turini (14.9 km at 7.4%). Gogl and Perez shrunk the leading group to five, without Sagan and Cosnefroy, while UAE Team Emirates once again set the pace in the peloton. The speed caused the necessary damage at the back of the peloton, where sprinters were in trouble.
A day in yellow for Alexander Kristoff
Five kilometres before the top of the Turini, the yellow jersey, Kristoff, had to let go of the peloton, after which UAE Team Emirates disappeared from the front of the peloton. The work was taken over by GC teams such as Jumbo-Visma and Movistar. Cosnefroy found his legs again, as he managed to close the gap on Gogl, Perez, Skujins, Asgreen and Pöstlberger. The sprint for the mountain points went to Perez, who held off of Cosnefroy and Gogl.
The break of the day
The peloton started the dangerous descent of the Turini just under 2 minutes down. Jumbo-Visma kept the pace high. Tadej Pogačar had a flat, but quickly got back to the peloton. Due to the work of Jumbo-Visma and EF Pro Cycling, the lead dropped rapidly. A regrouping followed 40 kilometres from the finish, at the foot of the Cat 2 Col d’Èze (7.8 km at 6.1%).
A lot of climbing for the second stage in the Tour
EF rider Neilson Powless opened the action, but his attack was countered by Deceuninck – Quick-Step, with INEOS Grenadiers and Jumbo-Visma also well to the fore. A considerably thinned out peloton reached the top of the Col d’Èze. Thanks to the speed of Jumbo-Visma, there were no attack attempts. The Col des Quatre Chemins, a climb with no category, had 8, 5 and 2 bonus seconds at the summit was going to be important.
Primoz Roglič was comfortable in the peloton
The descent of the Col d’Èze caused some problems; Dauphiné winner Daniel Felipe Martínez crashed hard in a corner. The Colombian was able to continue, although he was 1 minute behind. Alejandro Valverde in turn had a flat tyre and had to continue on Nelson Oliveira’s bike for a while. With one lap to go, the Movistar leader was back, along with Martínez.
Eventually Peter Sagan had to let go of the break
Deceuninck – Quick-Step launched an attack by Julian Alaphilippe on the Quatre Chemins. The Frenchman had Marc Hirschi with him and together they took 10 seconds, while Wout van Aert set the pace in the chase. Tom Dumoulin crashed 12 kilometres from the finish after he hit the rear wheel of Michal Kwiatkowski. The leader of Jumbo-Visma was quickly up and able to reconnect with the favourites group.
There were not as many fans as usual, but most were wearing masks
The break climbed on
Adam Yates was next to attack. He joined Alaphilippe and Hirschi. An attack by Marc Soler did not get far, the Spaniard was quickly caught. The gap to the three front runners had meanwhile grown to 20 seconds. Yates took the eight-second bonus at the top of the Quatre Chemins, ahead of Alaphilippe and Hirschi. INEOS Grenadiers now led the chase, only Roglič and Dumoulin were still present for Jumbo-Visma.
The Col de Turini was hard for the sprinters
The three hit the descent with a 20 seconds lead and held onto it because a chase did not seem to get going. With a 1 kilometre to go, Alaphilippe, Yates and Hirschi began to look at each other. Yates was the first to sprint at 200 meters, but Alaphilippe came round him and managed to keep Hirschi off. As he crossed the line, Alaphilippe pointed up, in tribute to his late father.
The sprint of the peloton went to Greg Van Avermaet. With his win, Alaphilippe took the overall lead.
Alaphilippe back to his winning ways
Stage winner and overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I hadn’t won a single race this year yet. But I’ve always remained serious with my training despite the difficult moments I went through. I dedicate this victory to my father [who passed away on June 27]. I asked my team to make the race hard. There weren’t many riders left in the last climb. I gave it all. I had nothing to lose. It was nerve wrecking but Adam Yates cooperated. I wanted to maintain the gap until the red flame. I’m kind of used to the pressure. To finish it off makes me feel good. This is the victory that I was missing. The yellow jersey is the icing on the cake.”
# Keep it PEZ for everything Tour. #
Tour de France Stage 2 Result:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:55:27
2. Marc Hirschi (Swi) Sunweb
3. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC at 0:02
5. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana
8. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
9. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
10. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Pro Cycling
11. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
12. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott
13. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-McLaren
14. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
15. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
16. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana
17. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
18. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic
19. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
20. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
21. Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
22. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
23. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
24. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sunweb
25. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 2:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in8:41:35
2. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:04
3. Marc Hirschi (Swi) Sunweb at 0:07
4. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling at 0:17
5. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
6. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic
10. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
11. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
12. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC
13. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic
14. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
15. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
16. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Pro Cycling
17. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
18. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
19. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar
20. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
21. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
22. Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
23. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana
24. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
25. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling.
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