NTT Pro Cycling had another fantastic day at the Virtual Tour de France, where after stage 2, our South African team kept the yellow jersey, green jersey, team competition lead and also took over the young rider white jersey.
Stage 2 of the Virtual Tour de France was a 29.5km mountain stage taking place in Watopia, on the Zwift virtual cycling platform. NTT Pro Cycling started the stage with Louis Meintjes in the yellow jersey and Stefan de Bod in the green, after yesterday’s fine team performance on stage 1 where Ryan Gibbons took the stage win.
With the top 25 finishing places all scoring points toward the GC yellow jersey, our 2 South African’s as well as team mates Ben O’Connor and Gino Mader were all aiming for a high placing.
The “Epic Kom” started after just 4km of racing and went uphill for 11km. Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) set a stern pace on the climb, which saw the peloton reduce significantly. Over the top the race was in pieces but Meintjes, de Bod and O’Connor were all still in points scoring contention.
A general regrouping occurred on the descent to the finish, with de Bod and Meintjes making it into a front group of 14 riders. O’Connor was in group 2 just 40 seconds adrift.
In the sprint for the stage win, it was Frenchman Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo) who clinched victory ahead of Freddie Ovet (Israel Cycling Academy) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis).
de Bod placed 6th, Meintjes was 8th and O’Connor crossed the line in 21st, all scoring points toward the yellow jersey competition. In the end, NTT Pro Cycling extended its lead in the yellow jersey standings to 130 points from Rally Cycling who have 92points.
Our South African team also has the green points jersey, white young rider jersey and the lead in the team classification after the efforts of our team today.
Stage 3 & 4 of the Virtual Tour de France will take place next weekend, on 11 and 12 July. NTT Pro Cycling will be on training camp in Lucca, Italy from next weekend so you can expect to see the whole squad getting behind our racers, as they aim to defend the yellow jersey.