Bol stays second on GC after a hectic and windy stage
After yesterday’s strong team effort that ended with Cees Bol taking second in the stage, our riders were up for another fight today. The second stage of the French race presented a 160km long parcour that was set to be decided in the final local circuit. The race was off to a fast start taking into account the strong headwind that followed the bunch during the day, with the peloton staying together for almost 40 kms before the break moved away. 

Three riders formed the breakaway of the day, but the main group did not allow them much room as there were bonus seconds up for in the second intermediate sprint of the day. After a solid team lead out, Cees Bol took second in the interemdiate sprint sizing a bonus of two seconds in the overall classificaiton. Shortly after the race was back in order after the sprint and with 20 km, Julius van den Berg and another rider jumped off the bunch before being joined by another duo of riders. The 4-man group worked together and got a maximum gap of 30 seconds heading into the last lap of the day.

The high speed and the tension in the bunch was exemplified with a crash early into the last lap that affected ours Jan Maas and Jordi Meeus. Both riders made it back to the peloton, and that chased down Julius’ move with a bit more than one kilometer to go. Inside the last 1,000 meters of the stage another big crash happened, taking Jordi Meeus down for the second time. In the middle of the chaos Cees Bol could successfully defend his second position on GC (6 seconds down the race leader) and sprinted to 11th in the day. Despite being involved in two crashes today Jordi Meeus is expected to start in tomorrow’s stage 3. 

Michel Cornelisse, team DS; 

“When there is that much headwind it is really difficult that a breakaway makes it to the end, so we were not nervous at the beginning of the stage and we decided to stay put in the bunch. We did a great job, Julius attack almost made it to the end, and behind Jan Maas pulled really hard to bring Jordi Meeus back to the bunch after his first crash. It was a pitty to see him down again, but that’s racing and we are headed to the right direction in this race”