Julian Alaphilippe wins uphill sprint finish to take second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, Wout van Aert retains lead

Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel crossed second ahead of Belgian Wout van Aert, who retains the overall lead, after the 202km run from Camaiore to Chiusdino in Tuscany.

Agence France-Presse March 12, 2021 00:24:35 IST
Julian Alaphilippe wins uphill sprint finish to take second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, Wout van Aert retains lead

File image of Julian Alaphilippe, AFP

Milan: World champion Julian Alaphilippe won an uphill sprint finish to take the second stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy on Thursday, his third win in the 'Race of the Two Seas'.

Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel crossed second ahead of Belgian Wout van Aert, who retains the overall lead, after the 202km run from Camaiore to Chiusdino in Tuscany.

Slovenian Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar was fourth.

"This first victory of the season is a relief for me," said Frenchman Alaphilippe, who also won two stages in 2019.

"I was in a perfect situation with (teammate) Joao Almeida at the front.

"Kasper Asgreen and Zdenek Stybar helped me position myself.

"I didn't know what was going on behind me, but when I saw Joao ahead of me, I knew I would win.

"I could just focus on keeping my position. I went full gas when my time came.

"You can never be sure of victory. It's a special feeling. It's not easy to win, but the team believed in me today and I am happy that I was able to repay them."

Jumbo-Visma rider Van Aert retains the race lead with a four-second advantage on Alaphilippe with Van der Poel third at eight seconds.

"It's not a win but a good result," said Van Aert, who had won the opening stage.

"The third place is the maximum I could get today. When Julian accelerated I was already at my limit. He was the strongest today."

Wednesday's third stage covers 219km from Monticiano in Tuscany with a climb to Poggio della Croce, followed by a flat run and a slight uphill finish to the line in the ancient Umbrian town of Gualdo Tadino.

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