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Tirreno-Adriatico stage 2 – Live coverage

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Buongiorno and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico.

As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height the riders have just rolled out of Camaiore.

The riders face a 202km stage deep into the Tuscan hills today. 

The stage route cuts south across the Pisa plain via Ponsacco and Lajatico and then reaches Volterra to start the rolling terrain. 

The attacks have started early as riders try to form the break of the day. 

We have a group of six and the peloton seems happy to let them go. 

After a fast opening 20km, the six have a lead of 2:30 on the peloton. 

After winning stage 1, Wout Van Aert wears the blue leasder's jersey. 

Vincenzo Albanese of Eolo was in the break on stage 1 and took the green mountains jersey. He has John Archibald with him today to help him defend it. 

It's slightly cloudy in Tuscany today but there is a sense of spring with temperatures of 13C. 

Where's Wout. He's wearing blue today.

Van Art also leads the points competition after winning stage 1 but Caleb Ewan is wearing the cyclamen-coloured jersey today. 

After 25km of racing, the peloton has eased, allowing the break to go 4:10 clear. 

To read about Wout Van Aert's impressive sprint win on stage 1, click below.  He beat Caleb Ewan and Fernando Gaviria with a long and strong sprint.

The break has pushed out their lead to over 5:00. 

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) dominated the opening sprint at Tirreno-Adriatico but he played down the idea that it was a way of responding to rival Mathieu van der Poel's Strade Bianche victory or an indication that he could go on to be an overall contender at the Italian stage race.  

It's a busy day of racing today with stage 5 of Paris-Nice underway. 

Unfortunately for Paris-Nice, the final stage is set to be moved away from the planned finish on the Promenade des Anglais after the mayor of the city announced he wants the seafront to be available to local residents for three hours on Sunday rather than closed down for the race.

140km to go

 

After also being in the break on stage 1 and so taking some bonus seconds, Simone Velasco (Gazprom) is the virtual race leader because the break by 5:00. 

125km to go

You may recall that Volterra was in the Twilight series due its Renaissance buildings and stunning piazza.   

This is the view of the Tuscan countryside.

Tirreno-Adriatico passed through the Tuscan countryside

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Tirreno-Adriatico peloton lines out during stage 2

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Greg van Avermaet (AG2R) seems happy to rolling along in the peloton.

As the road rises for the first time, Jumbo-Visma have four riders on the front leading the chase for Van Aert.

The Deceuninck-QuickStep team are also visible up front. 

100km to go

The landscapes are stunning near Volterra. 

Wout Van Aert slowly rides back to the peloton after a natural break. 

Here's Wout.

Egan Bernal also moves back up to the peloton.

It's good to see riders dropping back to team cars and other vehicles to drop off their bidons and musettes.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the feed zones are on longer signaled in the road book but a number of teams re feeding now, on the top of a climb.  

With 90km left to race in the hills and 112km covered, its important to feed during today's stage. 

This is the break of the day at Tirreno-Adriatico

As the terrain begins to dip and roll evet more, Simon Pelaud (Androni Giocattoli) leads in the break. 

At the back of the peloton, Ineos help Geraint Thomas get back on, perhaps after a natural break. 

78km to go

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) moves up after a break. Could he win today? The hilly finale and rising finish suits him but he perhaps lacks the power and speed of Alaphilippe, Van Aert and van der Poel.

70km to go

The peloton has reduced the gap to the break. It is now 3:10.

60km to go

Jumbo-Visma is lined out protecting Van Aert but other teams are moving up to the front. 

50km to go

The peloton is sprinting to the foot of the Casciano climb. It is 4.5km long and could cause a shake out. 

The Casciano climb is followed by a false flat, a rapid descent and then the Poggio alla Croce climb. 

A narrowing of the road and a touch of brakes sparks a gentle stack-up involving several riders.

Simon Yates accelerates to the front and left side of the road to stay out of trouble. 

Ineos are protecting Bernal, while Deceuninck carefully move Alaphilippe to the front.

UAE are also protecting Pogacar.

Van der Poel is up there too, near Quinn Simmons (Trek) and Bernal.

40km to go

Archibald is doing big turns to try to help his Eolo teammate Albanese stay away and take the KOM points.

Here comes the Poggio alla Croce climb. It's 7km long and is perfect to launch an attack and kick off the race for the stage and even the GC.  

As the road kicks up, the break eases up and are caught. 

Poor Alberto Albanese suffers a mechanical problem and so drops from the break to out the back.

Lotto Soudal are on the front, setting a hard pace to try to shake out the peloton.

The road is rolling as it climbs, offering riders a chance to accelerate off the front.

Asgreen and Bernal surge away!

They are joined by De Buyst. But behind other teams are on the move. 

Tim Wellens also jumps across. Quinn Simmons is there for Trek. 

The Bernal trio lead by 15 seconds. 

Behind Cortina and others have been dropped.

Simon Yates attacks joins the Bernal group. 

Higuita is there too as 10 or so riders from on the front. 

However the peloton is closing the gap but Van Aert has just one teammate with him now.

Yates accelerates again with Sivakov and Almeida. Landa surges across to them, with his arms on the drops.  

Yates leads through the KOM but they do not seem convinced about staying away.

The gap is up to 13 seconds as riders grab bidons from the roadside.

The climb is done and so the riders face a rolling road towards Chiusdino.

Yates, Sivakov, Almeida and Landa lead  by 22 seconds.

The race is lined-out on the descent. All 4 of the attackers are working to extend their lead. 

20km to go

Van Aert has Foss and Roosen to help him but they will surely start to hurt soon. 

Ineos are sat behind Jumbo and Van Aert. If the Sivakov attacks is caught we should expect another more from Bernal. 

Van der Poel carefully moves up near the front. He is surely a favourite for the uphill finish if the races finishes together. 

The peloton seems to have eased a little. the four have extended their lead to 30 seconds.

Up front Sivakov kicked to take the intermediate sprint and so 3 bonus seconds. Simon Yates took 2 seconds. 

Now Almeida is shown as winning the sprint. However in theory, the sprint was positioned at 14.5km to go,  so after the 15km to go arch. 

10km to go

It will be a pursuit match all the way to the line. 

There are only 40 or so riders in the peloton. 

Van Aert still has two teammates chasing for him. Everyone else is fighting behind them for the best wheel. 

The road climbs gradually ay 3.3% for 6km. Then kicks up at 5.5% for the final km on a twisting road.

Sivakov is driving the break on the false flat. 

All the best GC riders and van der Poel are there. 

UAE now lead, with 3 riders ahead of Pogacar.

Alaphilippe is close to the front but van der Poel is further back.  

5km to go

Van Aert is not panicking. He's letting the GC team control the race but will surely try to emerge and sprint to the line.

Ganna is still there for Ineos. He must be putting out big watts to stay with the GC riders on the climb.

Formolo is leading for UAE. 

Yates, Sivakov, Almeida and Landa lead by ten seconds. 

2km to go

Simon Yates is dropped from the attack but Sivakov attacks

Yates has been dropped from the chase group. 

Almeida is aggressive and has a gap on Sivakov and Landa.

But the chasers can see them. 

Almeida solo!

Thomas surges after Almeida. 

But others are on his wheel.

Alaphilippe wins it! 

He caught a fading Almeida in sight of the line.

Alaphilippe tried to hold off and let Almedia win but surged when he knew he had to go for it. 

Van der Poel came from behind and was fast but failed to catch Alaphilippe at the line.

This the top ten:

General classification after stage 2:

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) wins stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico.

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) celebrates his win on stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico and celebrates beating two big rivals.

Van der Poel was angry that he left it a little too late in the sprint. Alaphilippe seemed to enjoy the moment.

Julian Alaphilippe was happy to win his first race of 2021. 

"I kept my position in the front with the help of Kasper Asgreen and Zdenek Stybar. We knew that Joao was going full gas, so I focused on what was happening behind me. Everyone was on the limit and so when I saw Joao I went full gas. 

Alaphilippe picked-up ten bonus second for his stage win. Van Aert took 4 seconds for third place and so kept the race leader's blue jersey. 

This shot from stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico shows Mathieu van der Poel using his hatched Aeroad Canyon bike.

Alaphilippe was happy to land his first win of 2021.

To see our full stage report, full results and growing photo gallery, click below.

Thanks for joining our full live coverage of stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico. We'll be back on Friday for stage 3 from Monticiano to Gualdo Tadino in Umbria. 

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