Vauquelin triumphs in Bologna and Pogacar dresses in yellow


French cyclist Kévin Vauquelin (Arkéa-B&B Hotels) has won the second stage of the 111th edition of the Tour de France, a 199.2-kilometre stage between the Italian towns of Cesenatico and Bologna, while Slovenian Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) has already donned the yellow jersey.

After the triumph of his compatriot Romain Bardet (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL), the first leader of the edition, on the first day of the French round, Vauquelin emerged as the strongest of the ten runners who starred in the day’s breakaway, supported by his teammate and breakaway, the Spanish Cristian Rodríguez (Arkéa-B&B Hotels).

The Frenchman sealed the race on the final climb to San Luca and crossed the finish line 36 seconds ahead of Norwegian Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X Mobility) and 49 seconds ahead of the trio formed by Frenchman Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ), Rodríguez and Colombian Harold Tejada (Astana-Qazaqstan).

In addition, San Luca offered the first duel of the edition between Pogacar and the current champion, the Danish Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease a Bike), which ended with a draw, and with the Belgian Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) and the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost) entering the finish line with the last two winners of the ‘Grande Boucle’. With this, the Slovenian snatched the yellow jersey from Bardet.

The escape of the day took only 8 kilometers to form, with Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ), Axel Laurance (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team), Kévin Vauquelin, Cristian Rodriguez ( Arkéa-B&B Hotels), Mike Teunissen (Intermarché-Wanty), Bram Welten (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL), Harold Tejada (Astana Qazaqstan), Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X) and Jordan Jegat (TotalEnergies) as members.

At kilometer 66, the lead was already more than eight minutes over the peloton, controlled by Bardet’s Team dsm-firmenich PostNL. Abrahamsen was the first to crown the Côte de Monticino and the Côte de Gallistterna, while the bulk of the cyclists closed the gap. In Dozza, with the Norwegian also ahead, a fall involving Laurens de Plus (Ineos Grenadiers), Matteo Jorgenson and Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike) weighed down the group, which saw the breakaway again. leave nine minutes away at kilometer 129.

On the Côte de Montecalvo, the peloton increased the pace and began to put pressure on, and attacks began to occur on the first climb to the Côte de San Luca. On the descent, Oliveira attacked and Vauquelin and Abrahamsen came out on his wheel, and on the second and final climb the Frenchman changed pace to ride solo to victory.

Behind, Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) made way for his leader, Pogacar, followed by Vingegaard, although both were caught at the end by Evenepoel and Carapaz. Even so, they surpassed the group in which the Slovenian Primoz Roglic (Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe) and Bardet also marched by 21 seconds.

This Monday, one day before the high mountains arrive, the peloton will face the third stage, 230.8 kilometers between the Italian towns of Piacenza and Turin. Eminently flat, the day will facilitate the action of the sprinters.