Tour de France Stage 2 analysis: It’s déja-vu, all over again

Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 2nd stage Nice Nice 186 km 30082020 Julian Alaphilippe FRA Deceuninck Quick Step photo POOL Jan De MeuleneirPNBettiniPhoto2020
With stage 2 win in Nice, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) earns the yellow jersey (Image credit: Bettini Image)

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche lived near the village of Èze, in the hills above the Mediterranean to the east of Nice, between 1883 and 1884, and he often made the descent to sea level along a path that is now known as the Chemin de Nietzsche. His temperament was famously melancholic and nihilistic, though in the daily journey down from Èze and back again, he found inspiration in the warmth of the sun and the beautiful sea views. It was there he wrote the third part of his philosophical novel, ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’, in which he theorised that men and women can find meaning in overcoming adversity.

In retracing the downward journey from Èze to sea level at Nice and winning the second stage of the 2020 Tour de France, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) overcame a little of his own adversity, dedicating his narrow victory over Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) to his father, who died earlier in the summer. 

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Edward Pickering is Procycling magazine's editor. He graduated in French and Art History from Leeds University and spent three years teaching English in Japan before returning to do a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism at Harlow College, Essex. He did a two-week internship at Cycling Weekly in late 2001 and didn't leave until 11 years later, by which time he was Cycle Sport magazine's deputy editor. After two years as a freelance writer, he joined Procycling as editor in 2015. He is the author of The Race Against Time, The Yellow Jersey Club and Ronde, and he spends his spare time running, playing the piano and playing taiko drums.