Wow! Stage 2 was chaos, 3 crashes and a very surprising winner. We named Timothy Dupont in the preview but didn’t think he could take the win in this field.
Few notes from stage 2, Thijssen and Sarreau were in good position, just behind Dupont but didn’t manage to sprint for the win, not a good sign from them.
Bora took a huge hit, nasty crash by one of the lead-out riders, Patrick Gamper. Also Jordi Meeus hit the ground and Pascal Ackermann reported he isn’t in good form.
Riders who were in the running for top 10 spots on sprint finishes who also went down are: Danny van Poppel, Boris Vallee, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Ethan Hayter.
Stage 3 could be another sprint finish but the stage is a little bit harder with ~2050m elevation.
Especially the hills with 15k to go could interest some of the teams who have a strong sprinter on board. Maybe they will up the pace and drop some of the sprinters who don’t go up very well, I can see AG2R trying. Also more chance we will see attacks. These chances are minor though and with a lot of teams waiting and willing to work for the sprint it seems like the favourites are very much the same as on stage 2 with some adjustments because of crashes and the other things we learned from stage 2.
*** Mads Pedersen, Nacer Bouhanni, Giacomo Nizzolo
** Christophe Laporte, Rudy Barbier, Gerben Thijssen, Marc Sarreau, Timothy Dupont
* Pascal Ackermann, Jake Stewart, Oliver Naesen, Alberto Bettiol, Bryan Coquard, Michael Kwiatkowski, Pierre Barbier