In the difficult second stage (139 kilometres) of the Tour de l’Ardèche, Marianne Vos once again demonstrated her strength. In the last few hundred metres, she outwit Lauren Stephens with whom she had remained in the final. With the second consecutive stage victory, the leader’s jersey is a little tighter around her shoulders.
After 40 kilometres of racing, nine riders broke away. Jeanne Korevaar, again in excellent shape, was part of that group and took a maximum lead of 2 minutes and 40 seconds with her fellow escapees. The leading group had been broken up on the difficult course, but Jeanne did not give in, racing for a long time in second place, behind leader Omer Shapira.
After a peloton of thirty riders caught Jeanne at 20 kilometres from the finish line, Shapira was also taken back at 5 kilometres from the finish. Sports director Jeroen Blijlevens: “In the last 2 kilometres of the climb to Mont Lozère, Stephens placed an acceleration. Marianne did not hesitate and went after her, starting her sprint in the last two hundred metres. She came across the finish line with a handful of seconds ahead. Right now, she is just incredibly strong.”
Pauliena and Agnieszka abandon the race
Despite the euphoria of the second stage win, there was also a disappointment in the CCC-Liv team. Agnieszka Skalniak and Pauliena Rooijakkers had to abandon the race. Agnieszka suffered too much from physical discomfort and Pauliena got a fever during the second stage.
Photo credits: Cor Vos