Picturesque village

Mathieu van der Poel explodes the second stage to take the lead of the Tour de France while Geraint Thomas loses ground

  • Mathieu van der Poel wins his first stage on his Tour debut
  • The Dutchman puts on the leader’s yellow jersey on the Wall
  • Alaphillipe goes to second place, Pogacar goes to third
  • Carapaz is ahead of his teammate Thomas in 18th place
  • Thomas follows Carapaz by 10 seconds; Pogacar by 28sec

Mathieu van der Poel won the second stage of the Tour de France and with it the yellow jersey won at Mûr-de-Bretagne.

The Tour rookie, disappointed in Saturday’s opening stage, ran flawlessly with 700 meters to go on the final climb and used bonus seconds to take the yellow off Julian Alaphilippe’s shoulders.

Second bonuses also went to defending champion Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic, but Geraint Thomas was unable to keep up with the other contenders in the overall standings as he lost time at the top.

Van der Poel had been much appreciated during the opening stage on Saturday, a day when his Alpecin-Fenix ​​team wore special jerseys in memory of his maternal grandfather and Tour favorite, Raymond Poulidor.

But he had to wait another 24 hours for his first Tour win, having the power to break free after attacks from Sonny Colbrelli and Nairo Quintana were halted.

Van der Poel had also attacked in the first of the two climbs of the ascent, collecting eight seconds of bonus at the top, which was crucial as he took the lead in the overall standings six seconds behind Pogacar.

Poulidor has finished third overall in the Tour three times and third on five occasions, but has never worn the yellow jersey – something his grandson has now achieved in only his second day of racing.

In an emotional post-race interview, the 26-year-old said: “I have no words, I don’t know what to say.

“I played a bit, I played everything I got because I knew I needed the bonus seconds if I wanted the jersey, it was also my last chance to get the yellow jersey, it’s incredible.

“[I’m thinking of] my grandfather, of course. “

Pogacar took second in the stage ahead of Roglic, with the Slovenian pair using extra seconds to bolster their argument as men to beat in the overall.

Thomas’ Ineos Grenadiers team had controlled the peloton on the final climb at the end of the 183.5 km stage from Perros-Guirec, but Thomas could not capitalize as he was left behind on the climb.

While his teammate Richard Carapaz was part of a group that finished eight seconds behind Van der Poel, Thomas was 23 seconds behind.

This means that Carapaz is now the lead Ineos driver, 18th at 31 seconds, while Thomas is 20th overall, 10 seconds more. Pennsylvania

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