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Tour de France stage 2 Live – Can Pogačar land first GC blow on punchy route to Bologna?

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Tour de France stage 2 Live – Can Pogačar land first GC blow on punchy route to Bologna?


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Some great crowds out here in Italy to see the yellow Grand Tour come through what is usually the grounds of the pink Grand Tour. The Giro d’Italia did race in this area this year and the wind was strong then too but no splits stuck and it ended in a sprint. 

150km to go

Behind the massed ranks of DSM-Firmenich-PostNL is interesting as the first team lined up is Visma-Lease a Bike with Vingegaard, Van Aert and Jorgenson all safe in the wheels. After them is Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates and the  the multi-leader team of Ineos Grenadiers. 

Rear puncture

Both Matthews (JAY) and Van Moer (LTD) have sat up and even stopped for a natural break as the peloton catches them. 

The break is working very well together and are almost seven minutes clear now. 

160km to go

The tempo is a relatively steady one but it isn’t by any means slow as Matthews (JAY) and Van Moer (LTD) appear to have sat up as their gap is balooning. 

Block head wind now for the riders. 

Rear puncture

170km to go

Philippe Gilbert thinks that Matthews (JAY) spoke to Pogačar (UAD), his best friend, to see if UAE Team Emirates were going to go for the stage and got the reply of no so he attacked. Interesting theory from the former world champion. 

DSM-Firmenich-PostNL have taken control of the peloton with Evenepoel (SOQ), Van der Poel (ADC), Hindley (RBH) and others coming back from natural breaks. 

The race is currently battling with a head cross wind coming from the riders left side and it is blowing at about 25kph. That’s about 15mph. 

Mechanical

Bram Welten (DFP), who was looking after Fabio Jakobsen (DFP) yesterday and finished in the Cavendish (AST) group yesterday is up in the break but isn’t doing any work. Not a day for him really but he is giving it a go while his leader, Bardet (DFP), tries to stay safe in yellow behind. 

180km to go

Good to see that Jan Hirt (SOQ) is smiling again after breaking three teeth yesterday before the stage involving a fan. 

Maxim Van Gils and Arnaud De Lie back at the car getting bidons, gels and some food for Lotto-DSTNY. 

Brent Van Moer (LTD) sat up to wait for Michael Matthews (JAY) but they have +55″ to bridge. It’ll be quite a substantial effort. 

Puncture

Bike change

Atttack

Bike change

The break looks like it may have gone with plenty of the teams involved with some very strong riders in there including the U23 world champion, Axel Laurance (ADC). Brent Van Moer (LTD) is trying to bridge. 

Rear puncture

The break swells to about 15 riders and more try to join. 

Polka dots attack

A brief hiatus in the pack as the back of the peloton is extremely strung out as Jan Hirt (SOQ) is right at the back after his accident in the sign on involving a fan yesterday. Hopefully he will be feeling better soon. 

The first break is caught and several new moves try to go. World champion, Mathieu van der Poel (ADC) is lurking towards the front as well but it is Quentin Pacher (GFC) who tries to get away at the front. 

Attack

We have a long section of flat before we get to the climbs and maybe that is putting people off. 

199.2km to go

Front puncture

Just 5km until the official start. 

European champion, Christophe Laporte (TVL) is just back at the car changing his shoe as he’s having an issue with his new Nimbl Ultimate shoe. 

Last year, Primož Roglič (RBH) out-smarted and out-sprinted Tadej Pogačar (UAD) to take victory on San Luca… Similar today? We shall have to see. The race does not finish at the top by the sanctuary but rather in Bologna. 

Neutral start

A really lovely photo of two good friends and the stars of yesterday’s stage and the new yellow and green jerseys, Romain Bardet and Frank van den Broek, both of DSM-Firmenich-PostNL.

The last three winners of the Giro dell’Emilia, the race that finishes at the top of the San Luca climb (1.9km at 10.6%), are all in this race. In the last five years, three of the wins were taken by Primož Roglič (RBH) with the others won by now teammate, Aleksandr Vlasov (RBH) as well as Enric Mas (MOV). 

In our graphic above you can see who the jersey wearers are after the opening stage. Of course, Frank van den Broek (DFP) can’t wear two and he would be very warm if he did! So, Maxim Van Gils (LTD) will wear white on behalf on the young Dutchman. 

So far, there are no new abandons after Michele Gazzoli (AST) left the race half way through yesterday’s stage when he had suffered enough with Cavendish and co. 

A behind the scenes look at Astana Qazaqstan’s controlled but brutal day out making sure Mark Cavendish made it to the finish in time. In the end, they made it with 9’59” to spare. 

Yesterday was a day to forget for Groupama-FDJ’s leaders as both Lenny Martinez and David Gaudu lost just under half an hour to stage winner, Romain Bardet (DFP). Maybe today will be better. 

A look at the stage 2 profile. Not as hard as yesterday’s 3600+ metres of elevation gain but there are steeper climbs and they crest closer to the finish in Bologna, giving the GC guys a better chance of making it should they drop their rivals.

Visma-Lease a Bike primed and ready for stage 2 after a successful return to Tour de France-level racing for Vingegaard and Van Aert yesterday.

Today could be the first time we see the ‘big four’ of Tadej Pogačar, Jonas Vingegaard, Remco Evenepoel and Primož Roglič battle it out on the explosive San Luca climb. Pogačar will no doubt want to test the legs of the trio who were all nursing injuries in the April to May period while he was dominating the Giro.

It’s team presentation and sign-on time in Cesenatico for the second stage, with temperatures still upwards of 30 degrees but not quite as bad as the scorcher there was had on stage 1.

Make sure to follow CN’s Instagram to get an inside view of the race from our great team on the ground. Here’s Mark Cavendish arriving back at the team bus after a hellish first stage.

After a huge day 1, DSM-Firmenich PostNL will have the pleasure of donning two of the classification jerseys at the Tour (despite leading in three). Bardet in yellow, for the first time in his career, and neo pro Van Den Broek in the green points jersey.

If you somehow missed what was a magical opening day at the Tour de France yesterday, catch up with our race report. We may not get a better winners picture in the next three weeks:

We’re into Marco Pantani territory today as the Tour de France honours the roads of the controversial Il Pirata, 26 years after he completed the elusive Giro-Tour double.

Bonjour and welcome to Cyclingnews’ live coverage of stage 2 of the Tour de France!





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