Stage Report: Alpecin-Fenix’s Mathieu van der Poel mad up for the stage 1 disappointment by winning stage 2 in an up-hill battle on the Côte de Mûr-de-Bretagne, he also took the yellow jersey from Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) who finished fifth at 8 seconds.
The win for his grandfather
The second stage of the Tour de France 2021 was won by Mathieu van der Poel. The leader of Alpecin-Fenix was the best after a stage of 183.5 kilometres, with the finish on the steep climb of the Mûr-de-Bretagne. Van der Poel took a gap on everyone else and also grabbed the yellow jersey.
– The final kilometre of Stage 2 –
Tour boss, Christian Prudhomme describes stage 2: “After a first part allowing to appreciate the wild and unique beauty of the Côte de Granit rose, the course heads inland towards a mouthwatering final section: the double climb up the Côte de Mûr-de-Bretagne will be an unforgiving judge especially because the riders will start the climb almost stopped, without that momentum that the former course had to offer.”
The jerseys at the start of the day
Roglič got through stage 1 to finish third
The first attack came from the KOM, Ide Schelling, but it took a while before the escape got away. After more than 10 kilometres Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Simon Clarke (Qhubeka NextHash) and Jonas Koch (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) managed to get a gap. Schelling tried to make the crossing, as Perez was a dangerous customer for his mountain jersey.
Points leader, Michael Matthews (BikeExchange) and KOM Ide Schelling (BORA-hansgrohe) at the start of stage 2 in Perros-Guirec
Stage 2 from Perros-Guirec to Mur-de-Bretagne Guerledan (183.5km)
Three times Schelling jumped out of the peloton, but each time he was pulled back. The fourth time, however, it worked. Together with Jérémy Cabot (TotalEnergies), he joined the four leaders. The pursuit was in the hands of Deceuninck – Quick-Step and INEOS Grenadiers. They kept the difference between 3 and 4 minutes.
A wet yellow jersey in the early part of the race
A happy Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) in the break
On the first climb of the day, Perez managed to take the only mountain point, which put him on the same level in the KOM as Schelling. At the intermediate sprint in the peloton: Ewan stayed ahead of Cavendish and Philipsen. On the second climb, Perez tried to surprise, but the Dutchman managed to grab one point.
The peloton wasn’t too interested in the chase
KOM Ide Schelling (BORA-hansgrohe) and Anthony Perez (Cofidis) made it into the break
The collaboration at the front was not improved by the presence of Schelling and Perez. This resulted in an attack by Theuns, who took the points solo on the Côte de Saint-Brieuc and was joined later by Cabot. The two front riders had a 2 minute lead, while the rest of the break was caught.
Tim Declercq (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was on the front as usual
The break worked well together (at first), but they were never allowed too much time
With the first climb of the Mûr-de-Bretagne approaching, the pace in the peloton picked up. Several lead-out trains went to the front to keep the leaders forward. Theuns pulled away from Cabot 20 kilometres before the finish as the breath of the peloton was on his neck, but the big teams were now at full gas. Theuns was awarded the ‘Fighting Spirit Award’ for his efforts.
The peloton kept the pressure on, but the action would be on the Mur-de-Bretagne Guerledan
Breton fishing village
The first time up the Mûr-de-Bretagne, 17 kilometres from the finish, Mathieu van der Poel put in the first and only attack. The leader of Alpecin-Fenix briefly rode away for 18 seconds to cross the line first with a lap to go. He also took eight bonus seconds in addition to the mountain points.
Theuns and Cabot dropped the others in the break
Behind him Tadej Pogačar sprinted to 5 seconds and Primož Roglič to 2 seconds. They were just ahead of the yellow jersey Julian Alaphilippe. Van der Poel’s attack was pulled back by the GC men, so that a compact peloton started the last lap. INEOS Grenadiers took the initiative and led the elite group at full speed to the final climb of Mûr-de-Bretagne.
The break was all over with less than 20 to go
Theuns was the last to be caught
The INEOS train imposed a fast pace on the climb, but it was Xandro Meurisse who opened the action in the finalé. Van der Poel’s teammate jumped away with Davide Formolo. However, the Belgian and the Italian were unable to continue their effort. Nairo Quintana put in the next attack, that was followed by Van der Poel himself.
The pace picked up in the peloton – Wout Van Aert was near the front
Van der Poel’s second attack was enough
The stage win he wanted
Sonny Colbrelli then went too early, after which Van der Poel took advantage of a quiet moment to ride away. The Dutchman immediately made a gap because it came to a stop behind him.
5th place for Alaphilippe and no yellow jersey
Van der Poel won the stage by 6 seconds from Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Wilco Kelderman (BORA-hansgrohe). There was a gap to the yellow jersey, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), in 5th place at 8 seconds. Van der Poel now leads the World champion by 8 seconds on the overall with Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) at 13 seconds and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) at 14.
Stage winner and overall leader, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “Above all, it’s the way I did it. You can’t even plan something like this. I played everything I got at the first climb. I wanted to grab the bonus seconds because this was the last chance for me to get yellow jersey, and I needed them. When I launched my attack with 800 meters to go, no one followed me, so I kept going. The last 500 meters were really painful, but I knew I had to go full gas in order to win. I didn’t learn that I had taken the yellow jersey until 5 minutes after the finish line. To finish it off like this is incredible. I felt much better today than I did yesterday. Maybe yesterday I was under a bit of stress. Unfortunately, my grandfather [Raymond Poulidor] isn’t here anymore… But imagine if he was here, how proud he would be! I have talked about it many times with my Mum.”
MvdP fans were happy
Tour de France Stage 2 Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:18:30
2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:06
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:08
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
7. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
8. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
9. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies
10. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
11. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
12. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
13. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar
14. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
15. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic
16. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
17. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
18. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
19. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
20. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
21. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange
22. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
23. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
24. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
25. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 2:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 8:57:25
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:08
3. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:13
4. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:14
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:24
6. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 0:26
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
8. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
9. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
10. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
11. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar
12. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
13. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
14. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic
15. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange
16. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo
17. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:31
18. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
19. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
20. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:41
21. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
22. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech
23. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:46
24. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 1:12
25. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) BikeExchange at 1:16.