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Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) launched a long, powerful sprint and held off Andre Demare (Groupama-FDJ) to take victory on the largely flat 198-kilometer stage to Tavira, Saturday. Demare lost his leadout man in the technical final bends but came back strong to take second. Jasper Philipsen (UAE-Team Emirates) completed the podium.
“I am very pleased with this result. In the first stage we were very unlucky because of the crash, but today we took revenge,” the winner said. “This is the yellow-black lead out that we want to see. If we can do this all season, it will be a great year. I am very grateful to the boys and happy that I was able to take my second win of the season here.”
Groenewegen suffered a mechanical in the final 10km, leaving his Jumbo-Visma teammates to launch a desperate chase to catch the bunch. However, the Dutch sprinter was able to regain contact with around 5km to go, and the peloton entered the technical final stages of the race with all the favorites still in contention.
As the bunch made their way through the various roundabouts and 90 degree turns of the final stretch, Demare momentarily lost the wheel of his leadout man, leaving Groenewegen in a strong position on teammate Mike Teunissen’s wheel. The Dutchman launched a long sprint, and held off Demare, who had made an impressive comeback having entered the final straight in around 10th.
Overnight GC leader Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) finished in the bunch to hold his position in the overall. Søren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) is second on GC, at 29 seconds, and Wout Poels (Team Sky) is third at 30 seconds. Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s Enric Mas slipped out of the top three having gone into the stage in second overall.
The race will be decided Sunday on the hilly stage finishing on the short but steep Alto do Malhão, which will see the peloton taking on the Malhão climb twice in the final 50km, with a category 3 ascent separating them.