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Tour de France Femmes

Tour de France Femmes stage 2: Marianne Vos wins big with stage win and yellow jersey

FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope suffers disaster day as podium favorite Marta Cavalli abandons and Uttrup Ludwig loses time.

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Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) launched an unstoppable sprint from a six-rider group to win stage 2 of Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.

The Dutch woman’s huge surge saw her secure the GC lead after overnight yellow jersey Lorena Wiebes missed the winning split.

Silvia Persico (Valcar-Travel & Service) and Kasia Neiwiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) rounded out the stage podium after the tough uphill sprint.

“It’s not revenge, it’s just beautiful, a beautiful day,” Vos said after finishing second to Wiebes on stage 1.

Victory in Provins gives Vos the 241st victory of a near-unmatchable palmarès. Adding to the tally at the inaugural Tour de France Femmes added something extra.

“For now it’s definitely the best [victory], it’s incredible,” she said. “Of course, you’re here and trying to be focused but to take victory today it’s beautiful I have to thank my team.”

Trek-Segafredo dominated a crucial six-rider escape that went clear in the final 20km. Elisa Longo Borghini and Elisa Balsamo animated the escape, but came up short in the final and missed the podium.

FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope had a disaster ride through what was a crash-riddled final. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig lost 1:38 and top climber Marta Cavalli abandoned after her heavy fall.

Lisa Faulkner (BikeExchange-Jayco) also lost time.

Early break doesn’t last long

Rotem Gafinovitz (Roland Cogeas Edelweiss), Femke Gerritse (Parkhotel-Valkenburg), Marit Raaijmakers (Human Powered Health), and Sabrina Stultiens (Liv Racing-Xstra) kicked into the day’s first break in the opening 20km of racing and roared to a 2:30 lead.

DSM did the pulling ahead of what looked set to be a dead-cert bunch sprint.

A shift in direction of the course saw the the wind blow hard across the bunch. The stiff breeze and an upping of pressure as teams tried to force splits demolished the lead four’s advantage to bring the bunch back together at 78km to go.

Crashes cause carnage as FDJ suffers

Like stage 1 on Sunday, crashes were a constant in the frantic final hour as the peloton sped toward Provins.

A crash toward the back of the bunch at 30km to go brought dozens of riders down though all involved looked to remount their bikes. Just a handful of kilometers later an AG Insurance-NXTG went wide at a bend and flying into a curb.

The drama continued with a dramatic incident at around 25km to go. A crash ripped through the bunch, catching out Marta Cavalli (FDJ Suez Futuroscope), who was then piled into at high speed by Nicole Frain (Parkhotel Valkenburg). Cavalli gingerly got back on the bike and looked in pain as she struggled through the cars to chase.

A fourth incident occurred just minutes later as the peloton ripped through narrow roads ahead of the intermediate sprint.

Meanwhile, a lone attack by white jersey wearer Maike van der Duin (Le Col-Wahoo) was left unattended as the peloton blew to bits.

Uttrup Ludwig was the biggest name caught in the carnage and FDJ dropped back en-masse to pace her back.

SD Worx led the charge into the bunch sprint at 20km to go, with Wiebes scooping the seconds.

Balsamo makes the sprinters suffer

Balsamo lit the burners in the confusion after the intermediate sprint in what proved to be the pivotal move.

Longo Borghini, Vos, Niewiadoma, Silvia Persico (Valcar-Travel & Service) and breakaway rider Van der Duin jumped into the world champ’s wheels and the stellar sextet got the gap.

Annemiek van Vleuten missed the move and Movistar chased hard, but the escapees were never seen again as they surged to a 40-second lead.

Balsamo led the lead group into the shallow final climb to the line. The Italian’s compatriot and teammate Longo Borghini kicked out of the wheel before Niewiadoma dragged the bunch back together.

Van der Duin tried to move next but faded before Niewiadoma lit up the sprint. Vos marked and powered away from the pack with a huge sprint that scored her the stage and the yellow jersey.

Uttrup Ludwig never made it back to the top GC contenders in the hectic final phase of racing and is now nearly two minutes back on GC.

The rest of the classification contenders came to the line in a flurry of small groups and head into stage 3 between 40 and 60 seconds back on Vos.

Results will be available once stage has completed.

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