After the heavy rain during the night, some sunshine appeared at the start of Stage 2. Immediately after the start, a quartet of riders managed to get into an early breakaway: Tom Bohli (Cofidis), Claudio Imhof (Swiss national team), Nicolas Zukowsky, and his team-mate Matteo Dal-Cin (Rally Cycling) taking a 6 minutes advantage.
At the first Cat. 2 Ghoch climb, the advantage dropped a bit to 5:30. Deceuninck-QuickStep set the rhythm for the peloton, and at the second Cat. 2 climb at Oberricken, with 43km to go, the gap went down to 3:48 where Team BikeExchange and Alpecin took over the front of the peloton.
After a fierce pace was set, the first peloton caught the break with 10 kilometres to go. Several attacks were put in on the last climb to break up the group, but it was in the last 3km where Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) kicked to go across to the line and win. Wout Poels managed to stay close and move up in the GC, crossing the line third.
Gino Mäder finished 12th and moved into the top 10 in GC, while Wout Poels moved into the top 20.
Wout Poels commented on his and the team’s performance today: “It was an interesting day. The final was interesting as well, especially with the rain but also with steep climbs. I felt pretty good on the climbs, so it was nice, and it was also nice to be up there and ride for some result. So I think we’re on a good way. The team also did a perfect job, and I think everyone is in excellent condition. The boys are really good, and I believe we are still up there. Apart from the rain, it was a really nice day. For now, I’m a happy man.”
(All pictures can be used for editorial and non-commercial usages only and are copyright @Bettiniphoto @TeamBahrainVictorious)
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