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.
🇮🇹 #TirrenoAdriaticoStage 2 is underway 🚴🏼♂️ pic.twitter.com/FI7P8xthmMMarch 11, 2021
The riders face a 202km stage deep into the Tuscan hills today.
After a 5km neutralised sector the flag has dropped and they stage is underway!
The stage route cuts south across the Pisa plain via Ponsacco and Lajatico and then reaches Volterra to start the rolling terrain.
Once in the Siena area, the route includes more climbs through Rosia, Casciano di Murlo and Monticiano (including a categorised climb in Poggio alla Croce).
After the the San Galgano Abbey the route heads up towards the finish in Chiusdino with a gradual climb and then a 5.4% final kilometre.
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.
The six are: Simon Pellaud (Androni Giocattoli), Marcus Burghard (Bora-Hansgrohe), Vincenzo Albanese and John Archibald (Eolo Kometa), Simone Velasco (Gazprom) and Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Intermarchè Wanty Gobert).
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.
🇮🇹 #TirrenoAdriatico Ready to defend the blue jersey 😎 pic.twitter.com/CAjbBcTyQfMarch 11, 2021
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.
The fight for KOM points comes later in the stage, after 171km atop the Poggio alla Croce climb. Points are also awarded at the finish.
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.
Mattia Bias of Androni Giocattoli is wearing the best young rider white jersey after going in the break yesterday, picking up two bonus seconds and then finishing in the peloton.
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.
Click below to read Van Aert's reaction after his victory.
It's a busy day of racing today with stage 5 of Paris-Nice underway.
Click below to follow Paris-Nice live on Cyclingnews.
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.
Click below for the full story.
140km to go
The break has been pushing across the Pisa Plain at 43km/h.
Jumbo-Visma are leading the chase at 5:00.
🇮🇹 #TirrenoAdriaticoNo real change to proceedings, break still up the road by 5'00" with just under 140km to go. 📷 @GettySport#BicyclesChangeLives 🖐 pic.twitter.com/1DDCBzlqXQMarch 11, 2021
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.
He can climb but faces a huge task to stay away and so take the real race lead.
125km to go
With 77km covered, the riders can now see the hills in the distance. They approaching the stunning hilltop town of Volterra but will actually take a back road through the valley behind the town.
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.
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 six riders in the break are working smoothly together but the hilly roads appear to slowing them as the peloton ups the pace.
Their lead is down to 3:40.
The landscapes are stunning near Volterra.
Wout Van Aert slowly rides back to the peloton after a natural break.
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.
Some are still throwing them to the roadside but towards fans.
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 #TirrenoAdriatico feed zone, where the peloton has a deficit of four minutes.Photo: @BeelWout pic.twitter.com/IQpvYlRqxUMarch 11, 2021
At the back of the peloton, Ineos help Geraint Thomas get back on, perhaps after a natural break.
Best to get those things out of the way before the harder climbs.
78km to go
Jumbo-Visma is leading the chase with their classics riders doing the early work. We've seen Eduardo Affini on the front, using his TT ability to ride a steady pace.
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 can enjoy the flnal section o flat roads to the southwest of Siena. However the climbs will kick-in in 25km and so positioning will soon be very important.
The peloton has reduced the gap to the break. It is now 3:10.
60km to go
The tension is rising in the peloton as the Casciano climb nears. It is the first real climb of the finale of the stage.
Jumbo-Visma is lined out protecting Van Aert but other teams are moving up to the front.
There's a real fight for position now.
50km to go
The break is pushing on and working well together but their lead is down to 1:45.
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.
The KOM points are on the top of the Poggio alle Croce but the break could be caught before they get there.
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.
The speed is up so the break is only 1:00 ahead.
Behind several sprinters are bering spat out of the back.
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.
Behind Peter Sagan is distanced as the peloton reaches the village of Casciano. The climb is virtually over.
40km to go
The break is descending as fast as it can to stay away for the KOM points.
But their lead is down to just 20 seconds now.
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.
Gruppo compatto but surely not for long.
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.
Van Aert has only one teammate with him now.
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.
Almeida is moving too.
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.
There is a short kick-up to Monticiano to add an extra problem.
Yates, Sivakov, Almeida and Landa lead by 22 seconds.
Van Aert is up front but he only has one teammate to help him. Ineos are sat on his wheel.
The race is lined-out on the descent. All 4 of the attackers are working to extend their lead.
20km to go
The four lead by 20 seconds.
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.
Van Aert's teammates don't seem able to go any faster and so they are losing time.
Up front Sivakov kicked to take the intermediate sprint and so 3 bonus seconds. Simon Yates took 2 seconds.
Strangely the sprint point was just before the 15km to go arch, create confusion.
Who decided to put them so close together?
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.
One for the race judges to work out post-stage.
10km to go
Yates, Sivakov, Almeida and Landa lead by 26 seconds.
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.
It'll be interesting to see if and what Pogacar can and will do on the climb to the finish.
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
Yates, Sivakov, Almeida and Landa still lead by 20 seconds.
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.
Thomas and Bernal are sat in his large slipstream.
Formolo is leading for UAE.
🚴♂️@SimonYatess, @PavelSivakov, @MikelLandaMeana, @JooAlmeida98⏱️ 22" > Gruppo🏁 5 km#TirrenoAdriatico pic.twitter.com/YdKbd55GxSMarch 11, 2021
Yates, Sivakov, Almeida and Landa lead by ten seconds.
Get ready for the attacks!
2km to go
Alaphilippe is on Van Art's wheel in the chase group.
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.
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.
He finished second, with Van Aert third and Pogacar fourth. What a result.
This the top ten:
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 5:01:32
2 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
3 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
4 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
5 Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
6 Robert Stannard (Aus) Team BikeExchange
7 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
8 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
9 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
General classification after stage 2:
1 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 8:37:35
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:0:04
3 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 0:0:08
4 Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:0:11
5 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious 0:0:13
6 Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën Team 0:0:14
7 Robert Stannard (Aus) Team BikeExchange
8 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
9 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
10 Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
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 was focused on keeping my position. It was a perfect situation for us with Joao Almeida who followed the attack in the last kilometres," he explained.
"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.
"This victory makes me very happy. It’s not easy to win wearing the rainbow jersey and so it’s a special feeling. The team believed in me today and we did a great job."
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.
Van der Poel moved up to third at 8 seconds after all the sprinters were distanced.
What an acceleration, what an attack, what a win! pic.twitter.com/AXkaOhreqRMarch 11, 2021
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.
The rainbow jersey on the top spot of the podium 🤩Congrats, @alafpolak1 🤗#TirrenoAdriatico pic.twitter.com/vtxnK5D60rMarch 11, 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.
The 219km stage includes some early climbs and rising finish but seems perfect for a fast sprint finish.
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