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The Tour de France peloton tackled the winding, twisting roads of Brittany on Sunday before the painful finish up the steep Mur de Bretagne. It was a stage that appeared custom-fit for Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) to try and win, and the Dutch superstar did not disappoint.
Van der Poel surfed wheels until the 1km banner, when he followed an attack by Sonny Colbrelli (UAE-Team Emirates) that brought him to the front of the bunch. Then, van der Poel simply hit the afterburners and bolted away from the top riders, opening a huge gap after just a few pedal strokes. The Dutch hero kept his speed going to the line, crossing six seconds ahead of Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates) and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).
The win carried historic significance. Van der Poel is making his Tour de France debut this year, and he’s doing so with stage wins in his sights. He’s also trying to keep his body from overcooking during the three-week race, as he has the Tokyo Olympics to focus on immediately after the event. Van der Poel is hoping to win the Olympic cross-country mountain-bike race
If his legs are as strong in Tokyo as they were atop the Mur de Bretagne, van der Poel will do just fine.
Below are the official video highlights from Sunday’s stage 2 of the Tour de France.
2021 Tour de France stage 2 video highlights
2021 Tour de France stage 2 final kilometer