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Elia Viviani gives Ineos Grenadiers two in a row at Tour de la Provence

Filippo Ganna retains the overall race lead by a 10-second margin ahead of Julian Alaphilippe.

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Italian sprinter Elia Viviani (Ineos Grenadiers) surged to the stage 1 win at the 2022 Tour de la Provence.

The win is Viviani’s first win since his return to Ineos Grenadiers.

“Luke did a fantastic job,” said Viviani. “It wasn’t easy but we had our tactics.”

Sep Vanmarcke (Israel-Premier Tech) and Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) were in the thick of things at the front end of the sprinter’s stage, and finished in second and third, respectively. Alaphilippe assumed the lead in the points competition.

American Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar Team) scored points for a ninth-place finish.

Prologue winner and Viviani’s teammate Filippo Ganna retained the overall race lead.

After a relatively short category 3 climb in the first hour of racing, the remaining 125km offered nearly no elevation changes on the way to Les Saintes Maries de la Mer.

Before the climb six were off the front, including Tristan Delacroix and Jean Goubert (both Nice Métropole Côte d’Azur), Tom Mainguenaud (Go Sport), Viktor Verschaeve (Lotto Soudal), Stéphane Rossetto (St Michel-Auber93), and Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels) who was the most experienced in the bunch.

With a maximum gap of just five minutes, this group was kept under control by the prologue winner Ganna.

With some 80km remaining, the chasing pace, and wind, pulled the main bunch apart, with Viviani and Ganna in a group with teammate Richard Carapaz, Alaphilippe, Vanmarcke, Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies), and Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic),

Inside of 50km, the head of the race took on the first of two 24km finishing circuits.

The lead group had about a minute advantage over a chasing bunch that included Bryan Coquard (Cofidis), Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), and Philippe Gilbert (Lotto-Soudal).

Alaphilippe secured two three-second time bonuses and points for the sprint competition both intermediate checkpoints along the way.

At the start of the second finishing circuit, the front group with Alaphilippe had doubled its advantage, to more than two minutes.

The pace remained high over the successive 18km, and with just 7km to go, Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) made a go of it.

Alaphilippe tried to respond but was unsuccessful.

Ineos launched a counter-attack on the wheels of Ganna, who lead Luke Rowe, Carapaz, and Viviani in quickly bringing back Bodnar in the final kilometer.

Viviani used the Ineos Grenadiers’ train to launch his winning move.

“I’m really happy to be back at Ineos Grenadiers,” the Italian track racer added.

2022 Tour de La Provence Stage 2 Results

  1. Elia Viviani (Ineos Grenadiers), 03:17:58
  2. Sep Vanmarcke (Israel-Premier Tech), at s.t.
  3. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), at s.t.
  4. Martijn Tusveld (Team DSM), at s.t.
  5. Samuele Battistella (Astana Qazaqstan Team), at s.t.
  6. Cédric Beullens (Lotto Soudal), at s.t.
  7. Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (Trek-Segafredo), at s.t.
  8. Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies), at s.t.
  9. Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar Team), at s.t.
  10. Ilan Van Wilder (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), at s.t.

2022 Tour de La Provence General Classification

  1. Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), 3:26:05
  2. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), at :04
  3. Pierre Latour (TotalEnegies), at :10