Arnaud Démare wins stage 2 at Critérium du Dauphiné in a bunch sprint. Thomas de Gendt keeps his overall lead.

Arnaud Démare sprinted to a convincing win in stage 2 of Critérium du Dauphiné Monday at the end of a 171km stage to Arlanc, France. FDJ’s French sprinter won the day ahead of Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff. Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) was third.

The overall standings did not change after the second day of racing. Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) kept the yellow jersey after winning stage 1 from the breakaway.

Stage 2, top 10

Top-10 overall

After seeing de Gendt snatch a win from the peloton on Sunday, the sprinters were keen to keep the breakaway on a short leash. Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko was the last man off the front. He rode with a breakaway of three others throughout the day. American Nathan Brown (Cannondale-Drapac) was one of the original attackers, along with Romain Combaud (Delko Marseille Provence KTM), Mickael Delage (FDJ), and Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo).

The Kazakh escapee was caught with three kilometers to go, leaving the sprinters to queue up for a sprint after a relatively hilly day of racing.

Katusha was the two most assertive team in the sprint. Into the final kilometer, the Russian team looked to have the upper hand. It released Kristoff with about 300 meters to go. But FDJ had expertly placed Démare on the right-hand barriers.

The Frenchman sped up the right side and immediately got a gap. Bouhanni was on his compatriot’s wheel, but couldn’t hang on. Kristoff soon shut the door, boxing in the Cofidis rider. Démare won by a comfortable gap of about a bike-length as the rest lunged for second place.

The winner used his time in front of the cameras to send a message. “This is not a rant, just a request to pay attention to cyclists and motorists,” said Démare. “Each one has to respect the other, we share the roads.

“There are lots of victims, it’s something I think about a lot when out training. I’m not angry with motorists but it’s dangerous, it’s what we live through on a daily basis.”

Like Monday’s race, stage 3 will be a relatively lumpy day with four minor categorized climbs. The 184km race has a flat run to Tullins, which could favor another sprint.

“It’s something special the whole team was riding for me all day,” said race leader de Gendt. “They really did a fantastic job. I hope I can still keep this jersey after tomorrow.”

“I also thought today would be no problem, but it was harder than expected.”

Stage 2 results

General classification