Stage 2: Nice Haut Pays to Nice
Stage 2 race report: Alaphilippe attacks alone
Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) took victory and sparked the hopes of his nation at Tour de France stage 2 Sunday.
The Frenchman outkicked Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Marc Hirschi (Sunweb) in a three-up sprint in Nice after the trio went clear in the final 10 kilometers of the stage.
Alaphilippe had launched the decisive action in the final 10 kilometers of the stage, attacking on the final climb and drawing out his two rivals. His stage victory also leaves him in the yellow jersey, with Yates in second overall, four seconds back.
Stage 2 preview
Course: The GC battle begins early as the Tour heads straight into the mountains with this punishing stage that encompasses 3,752 total meters of climbing (12,309 feet). The course tackles two category 1 climbs: the Col de la Colmiane and the Col de Turini — both climbs soar above 1,500 meters — before descending to tackle the cat. 2 Col d’Èze and the steep Col des Quatre Chemins, which is actually the first part of the Col d’Èze. The final ascent is 5.5 kilometers at 5.5 percent, and there are bonus seconds of 6, 5, and 2 seconds on the line. The Tour won’t be won today, but it could be lost.
Favorites: Julian Alaphilippe, Alejandro Valverde, Sergio Higuita, Tadej Pogačar
Jens Voigt’s take: Straight into the first mountain stage, no time wasted. It seems very likely that we will see a change in yellow, and for sure a first tactical cat-and-mouse game play out between the GC contenders. Twice a climb of 1,500 meters, and the Col d’Èze as well! I don’t see the sprinters going for the win. I’m all in for Julian Alaphilippe today.