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Tour de la Provence stage 2 – Live race coverage

Tour de la Provence 2021 stage 2 profile

(Image credit: Tour de la Provence 2021)

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Tour de la Provence: Ballerini wins stage 1

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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 4:21:49
2Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
3Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
4Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
5Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
6Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
7Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
8Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
9Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
10Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
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General classification after stage 2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 9:04:52
2Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 0:00:16
3Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:19
4Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:20
5Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
6Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
7Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:25
8Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:26
9Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
10Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the second stage of the 2021 Tour de la Provence. The day should see a shakeup at the top of the standings with a hilly finale and an uphill finish which takes the best part of three kilometres.

Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-QuickStep) is in the leader's jersey today after winning stage 1 in Six-Fours-les-Plages. The Italian beat Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) to the line after his teammate, world champion Julian Alaphilippe, had spent the day in the break.

The riders are currently signing on before the start and are set to roll out of Cassis in around five minutes' time.

The peloton will head north from the coast to Manosque and will tackle three classified climbs along the way to the finish. Two third-category climbs line the route, along with a second-category climb 35km from the line.

The peloton has just rolled out to start the neutralised zone and racing will soon be getting underway.

It's a 4.6km ride through the neutralised zone before the flag drops and the riders get going properly.

175km to go

It's uphill from the start with an unclassified 3.2km climb. The perfect place to establish a breakaway?

Five men are on the attack, taking advantage of the early hills to try and get away from the peloton.

Deceuninck-QuickStep sprinter Fabio Jakobsen has undergone another surgery in his recovery from the Tour de Pologne crash that almost cost him his career last year.

165km to go

The riders are moving towards the first climb of the day now, the Grand Caunet (3.6km at 3.6 per cent).

158km to go

How to watch Tour de la Provence – live TV and streaming

Filippo Conca (Lotto Soudal), Jérôme Cousin (Total Direct Énergie), Eduard-Michael Grosu (Delko), Baptiste Bleier (St Michel-Auber 93), Samuel Leroux (Xelliss-Roubaix Lille Métropole) are the five men out front. They're two minutes ahead of the peloton at the moment.

Here's a look at Deceuninck-QuickStep before the start, with Davide Ballerini in the Mondrian-inspired leader's jersey.

155km to go

Conca led the way over the Grand Caunet, leading Leroux and Bleier from the break.

Julian Alaphilippe to test himself up Mont Ventoux

Now the gap back to the peloton has stretched out to 2:40.

140km to go

The route is up and down for now, but there are no classified climbs until the 35km to go mark. As such, the race should be fairly relaxed for a while – the peloton has let the break's advantage stretch out to 2:55 over the past few kilometres.

It's raining out on the course now. The gap is up to 3:30 after a lull in the peloton.

Riders make safety complaints over traffic islands in Tour de la Provence finale

110km to go

100km to go

All the riders are wrapped up in long sleeves and rain gear. Grim conditions out on the roads of southern France.

UAE Team Emirates are up there behind Deceuninck-QuickStep in the peloton.

Feeding time in the peloton as the riders grab musettes from their soigneurs side of the road.

93km to go

Rémi Cavagna and Yves Lampaert are among the Deceuninck-QuickStep riders putting in work on the front of the peloton.

We're still around 30 kilometres away from the next feature on the route. That's the day's first intermediate sprint at Gréoux-les-Bains.

Meanwhile, little has changed in the race situation. Deceuninck-QuickStep are still in control of the peloton with UAE Team Emirates close behind. Up the road, the break still holds an advantage of 2:50. 

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The temperature out on the road is a reported 5-6c at the moment, so between that and the rain it's not a pleasant day out for the riders.

65km to go

The break are now 5km away from the intermediate sprint.

56km to go

The next obstacle, which they head straight onto, is an uncategorised climb. It's 3.5km long at an average gradient of 5.5 per cent.

50km to go

Six kilometres to go to the second intermediate sprint of the day and then the riders will be immediately climbing to the second-category Col de la Mort d'Imbert (5km at 4 per cent).

The second intermediate sprint comes in Manosque, the location of today's finish.

40km to go

Lotto Soudal and Ineos Grenadiers join Deceuninck-QuickStep at the front of the peloton.

10 seconds between Conca and the rest of the break.

AG2R Citroën are also up front as the peloton climb.

34km to go

30km to go

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Deceuninck-QuickStep continue to drive it on the front of the peloton. They're 1:45 down on Conca, and just 55 seconds behind the rest of the break.

The riders are descending the Col de la Mort d'Imbert now. There's another unclassified climb coming up before they'll tackle the third-category Col Montfuron, which they'll crest at 17km to go.

25km to go

Ineos, Bora-Hansgrohe and Bahrain Victorious also have men up front.

22km to go

The gap to Conca is down to 42 seconds now as Deceuninck-QuickStep continue to work.

Conca is a neo-pro this year, of course. He has finished fifth at the U23 Giro in each of the past two seasons.

18km to go

Riders are struggling to hang on at the rear of the peloton, such is the high pace.

15km to go

12km to go

A Movistar rider is with him.

Matteo Jorgenson is the rider with Vermeersch.

9km to go

8km to go

The climb to the line starts 3km out, so not long to go now...

5km to go

4km to go

3km to go

Astana take over at the front with Alaphilippe in prime position. Ballerini is on his wheel now.

2km to go

Astana have the Izagirre brothers, Alexey Lutsenko, and Aleksandr Vlasov as their leaders this week.

The Kazakhstani squad have four men towards the front.

1km to go

Astana still lead the way with Lutsenko in second position. Ballerini is still up there.

Fraile works for Lutsenko.

300 metres to go and Fraile still pushes.

Lutsenko takes it up but Ballerini comes from behind!

Ballerini just edges it at the line. He beats Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) in the sprint.

Ballerini went early and was fading towards the line but he had enough to hold off his compatriot, who was catching.

Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech) took third place.

Alaphilippe has just crossed the line alongside teammates Zdenek Štybar and Kasper Asgreen.

Two wins in two days to start the season for 26-year-old Ballerini. Those have been his fifth and sixth victories as a pro.

That result, of course, means that Ballerini extends his lead at the top of the general classification. His reign as race leader should come to an end tomorrow though, as the peloton tackle Mont Ventoux.

Here's the top 10 on the stage.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 4:21:49
2Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
3Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
4Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
5Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
6Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
7Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
8Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
9Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
10Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo

And here's what Ballerini had to say after the stage.

Check out our full stage 2 report here. Full results and photo galllery to follow.

Check back later for the full results and photo gallery from stage 2 of the Tour de la Provence.

That's all from our live coverage for today, though. Be sure to check back tomorrow for live reporting from stage 3, which finishes at Chalet Reynard on the famous Mont Ventoux.

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