Adria wins 33km stage 2 at La Route d'Occitanie

Roger Adria (Kern Pharma) claimed victory on an explosive stage 2 of the Route d'Occitanie, triumphing on an uphill finish in Roquefort after just 33km of racing.

The stage of the Route d'Occitanie stage had been shortened due to the heatwave in southern France, with the first portion of the stage scrapped on order of local authorities due to the red alert warnings in the Tarn region. 

The start was moved to Aveyron, picking up the final 33km of the original route, taking riders over the short climb of the Côte de Tiergues before a snappy uphill kick to the line.

A sizeable bunch arrived at the finish and fastest of all was Adria, who responded to a late attack from Michael Valgren (EF Education-EasyPost). Valgren held on for second place as Max Kanter (Movistar) took the final podium spot.

It was Adria's first professional victory and also gave him the race leader's jersey. 

Adria moves into the overall lead of the race, with a four-second lead over stage 1 winner Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), who hung in the main bunch but was unable to sprint on the final kick.

With such a short stage, there wasn't much room for action, with Niki Terpstra (TotalEnergies) providing a one-man breakaway on the flat opening portion. 

He carved out a lead of a minute but hit the Tiergues climb - 4.3km at 4.5% - with 10km to go with just 30 seconds in hand.

The first attacks on the climb came from Ben Healy (EF Education-EasyPost) and Morné Van Niekerk (St Michel-Auber 93) and they caught Terpstra with 9km to go, as Ineos controlled the peloton behind. 

With 8km to go, Terpstra was dropped, triggering a new attack from TotalEnergies, this time from Alan Jousseaume, who drew out Yesid Pira (Caja Rural), and Clement Carisey (Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Metropole). Healy was dropped and Niekerk followed soon after.Jousseaume attacked again and went solo over the top of the climb, as Movistar took it up in the bunch, but everything came back together on the descent. 

Roubaix Lille and Uno-X both worked on the run-in before Movistar took it back up on the final uphill 1.5km. 

They looked to lead out Kanter but it was Valgren who jumped first, from range. Adria was straight on the case and surfed the Dane's slipstream before picking him off for a big win for his second-division team.

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Patrick Fletcher

Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist, and former deputy editor of Cyclingnews, who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.

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