The second stage of the 102nd Tour de France really was spectacular, at the end André Greipel was the one who could triumph. The peloton left Utrecht this afternoon for a ride of 166 kilometres to Zealand. The finish was located on the artificial island Neeltje Jans. The rain and wind made the race hard.
Immediately after the official start four riders attacked, the rest of the peloton didn’t react and let them go. The four were Jan Barta, Stef Clement, Armindo Fonseca and Perrig Quéméneur. Etixx – QuickStep controlled the bunch, the escapees never got more than three minutes lead. With more than sixty kilometres to go echelons were formed a first time. Also in front the situation changed, Barta left the others behind. Later Clement and Fonseca would rejoin him. In the back the peloton came back together.
During the stage there were several crashes, also three Lotto Soudal riders hit the ground: Thomas De Gendt, Jens Debusschere and Adam Hansen. All three could continue. With about fifty kilometres to go a crash split the peloton in two. This was the decisive moment, Lotto Soudal raised the pace. Eventually a group of 25 riders would enter the finale together; Tony Gallopin, André Greipel and Marcel Sieberg were part of it! In the last kilometres Marcel and Tony made sure their teammate was in a good position to start the sprint. The Gorilla beat Peter Sagan. Fabian Cancellara, who was third, is the new owner of the yellow jersey. The green jersey will be worn by Greipel tomorrow. Today it was the tenth victory of the season for the German, the 25th of this year for Lotto Soudal!
André Greipel: “This was the first stage I could win, it’s magnificent that I did. This is a fantastic reward for the team and me. In the Tour everyone starts from zero, it are the results here that count. This determines if your season is successful or not. A victory at the Tour is at least as double important as anywhere else.”
Read on: Lotto Soudal