Slovenian 2nd on stage, climbs to 3rd place in the overall standings
It was a thrilling day on the Tour de France, with Tadej Pogačar going head-to-head with the race favourites to take 2nd place behind Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) on the Mur de Bretagne climb, the spectacular finish of the 2nd stage of the Tour de France (183.5 km, starting from Perros Guirec).
The Dutchman attacked on both passages on the Mur de Bretagne: at the first lap on the iconic slope, Van der Poel won 8” bonus seconds passing first on the line (Pogačar 2nd, 5″ bonus), with Van Der Poel also taking the maillot jaune.
The UAE Team Emirates captain showed excellent legs, crossing the line 6 “behind the winner beating GC rival Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), whom marked Pogacar closely.
In the general classification, Pogačar moved up to 3rd position (+13 ”), keeping the white jersey of best youngster.
Pogačar: “The day started well, as all my teammates involved in yesterday’s crashes managed to start, including Marc Hirschi.
“I would have liked to fight to win, but it was also nice to see Van der Poel win, today he was the best and he also surprised everyone by attacking already on the first pass on the Mur. He also asked me, jokingly, if I wanted to attack with him the first time up.”
“On the final ascent, it was not easy for me to try to attack because a lot of guys were marking me and it turned to a game of chess. I still got second place, a result that I’m happy with, and I’m happy with how I’m feeling and where I am at this point in the race”.
Meanwhile Marc Hirschi put in a brave performance to finish the stage strongly, just 9’06’’ down on the winner, having spent the majority of the day in the peloton.
Hirschi: “It wasn’t an easy day, it was quite painful. When the tarmac was good and on good roads it was okay and on the speed bumps or the rough roads it hurt more. The back got stiff too because I couldn’t get out of the saddle. My goal was to arrive to the finish so I hope every day will be a little better from now on.”
The third stage will start from Lorient and will end, after 182.9 km, in Pontivy in a day that could favour the sprinters.
Stage 2 results
1. Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 4h18’30 ”
2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) +8 “
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) s.t.
General classification after the 2nd stage
1. Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 8h57’25 ”
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) + 8 ”
3. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) +13 “