Mads Pedersen lights up stage 2 at Paris-Good denying Kooij and Cort on the line
Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) claimed victory on stage 2 of Paris-Good on Monday and, with it, the yellow jersey as the brand new general chief of the race.
The Dane emerged victorious in a chaotic bunch end in Fontainebleau, beating Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) and Magnus Cort (EF Training-EasyPost) to the road.
Having already gained 4 bonus seconds for his third-place end on the opening stage, Pedersen added 10 extra seconds together with his win to maneuver to the highest of the general standings, with earlier yellow jersey Tim Merlier (Soudal-QuickStep) nowhere to be seen within the dash end.
Whereas the sprinters moved round on the prime of the overall classification, there have been extra developments among the many contenders for the general title as Tadej Pogačar (UAE Workforce Emirates) repeated his stage 1 trick of bagging six bonus seconds on the late intermediate dash.
The largely flat 164km leg from Bazainville to Fontainebleau took the peloton by uncovered roads however, except for the briefest of splits with 75km to go, the wind wasn’t robust sufficient to affect the race, and the riders made their manner alongside in tense however bunched trend.
After an arrow-straight 30km run-in, there was a good twist by a roundabout with 500 metres to go, fragmenting a bunch that had simply been scattered by a crash over highway furnishings simply shy of the flamme rouge.
Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) led by the roundabout, however behind him was Alex Kirsch, who led out the dash for Pedersen. The Dane opened up with 200 metres to go and held his personal, edging out Kooij to his left as a row of riders adopted in a line throughout the vast ending straight.
Stage 1 winner Merlier by no means received organised together with his teammates and completed down in 14th, whereas Danny van Poppel drew alongside Pedersen in a fierce lead-out for Sam Bennett, solely to go searching and discover the Irishman was effectively out of the image.
“It was a extremely hectic dash, like 10km full straight, then a roundabout ultimately, however the staff did rather well maintaining me out of hassle,” Pedersen stated.
“Alex did an ideal lead-out. Ultimately, it was actually shut, so I am pleased I received it.”
Within the general standings, Pedersen leads by two seconds over Pogačar, with Merlier third at 4 seconds. Pedersen will due to this fact put on yellow – albeit a skinsuit relatively than a jersey – in Tuesday’s stage 3 staff time trial.
“That is fairly good,” Pedersen stated. “I’ve by no means tried that earlier than in a race like this.”
The way it unfolded
Whereas the rain bucketed down over at Tirreno-Adriatico, stage 2 of Paris-Good set off in dry situations, though the skies had been leaden and the temperatures near freezing.
The important thing issue, nevertheless, was at all times going to be the wind. The so-called ‘Race to the Solar’ is legendary for its early echelons, and this 164km route by the uncovered countryside was designed to be open to the weather, however there was no actual energy within the wind.
As such, it was a reasonably calm begin to proceedings, with treasured little curiosity within the breakaway. The truth is, the one rider keen to go up the highway was Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X). The Danish rider opened up a lead of 4 minutes earlier than Merlier’s QuickStep henchman got here to the entrance of the peloton to manage the hole in a manner that appeared stingy given the dearth of menace up forward.
Nevertheless, though the wind wasn’t blowing strongly, nobody wished to take any probabilities, resulting in a tense day within the saddle the place little occurred, however groups had been on alert in case it did. By the point Gregaard had crested the Class-3 Côte des Granges-le-Roi, one among two minor climbs on the menu, his lead was right down to 2:40 with 95km to go. An extra 25km on, there was a small cut up within the bunch, although not by any actual drive to pressure echelons, and TotalEnergies rapidly stitched it again collectively.
With 60km to go, Gregaard crested the Côte de Méréville to take the lead within the mountains classification. With the polka-dot jersey within the bag, he had little left to achieve from being out entrance and began to float again to the bunch, finally being reabsorbed with 54km to go.
TotalEnergies needed to plug one other gap when Pierre Latour crashed over a site visitors island by a right-hand bend with 39km to go. Though he took some time to get again to his toes, his staff had little hassle closing the minute’s hole 8km down the highway.
With 30km of straight highway, the bunch unfold throughout it as groups received organised into blocks, all on alert however none doing any actual forcing. Occupying the entrance areas had been Bora-Hansgrohe, EF-Easypost, Trek-Segafredo, Groupama-FDJ, UAE Workforce Emirates and Jumbo-VIsma.
With 13km to got here the intermediate dash in La Chapelle-la-Reine, and once more Pogacar determined to hit out. He had a two-man lead-out from Tim Wellens and Matteo Trentin, whereas his chief rival Jonas Vingegaard opted to ship teammate Nathan van Hooydonck to attempt to problem. Pogačar held on, with Michael Matthews – the one different celebration, pipping the Jumbo-Visma domestique to second place. Pogačar, due to this fact, helped himself to 6 additional bonus seconds, extending that tally to 12 over any of his critical rivals forward of the staff time trial.
The race then grew to become more and more chaotic because it neared the end. It will be simpler to call a staff that wasn’t within the combine as so many events scrambled for place on a quick run-in on a slight downhill with a tailwind. By means of all of it, QuickStep may by no means get organised, and even when Florian Sénéchal appeared like he would possibly drag him by, Merlier may by no means get himself ready to contend for the victory.
After a crash distrusted the bunch even additional, with simply over a kilometre to go, the roundabout represented a essential ultimate impediment. Affini, Kirsch, Pedersen, and Kooij went by first, and there have been a few small gaps after them. Van Poppel represented a menace however had no sprinter on his wheel, leaving Pedersen to open the faucets and declare his second win of the season.
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