The 2nd stage of the Tour de France lived up to its expectations of having the weather, and particularly the wind affecting the race. A small group of 20 odd riders sprinted it out for the win with Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) taking the victory ahead of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing).
A 4 rider group initially escaped from kilometer zero but when the wind picked up with around 110km to go, Tinkoff-Saxo put the main group into the gutter and caused a few splits in the peloton. The injection of pace caused the break to be caught with 100km to go. Passing through Rotterdam, the race settled somewhat with a general regrouping but the rain started to pelt the peloton at this point.
As the conditions became more treacherous and riders entered the unsheltered plains once again, a couple of crashes then created a few more splits in the peloton. Merhawi Kudus and Edvald Boasson Hagen went down in one of the crashes but fortunately both riders were unhurt and able to carry on.
With 50km to go the situation saw 4 main groups on the road. Serge Pauwels and Tyler Farrar were present in the front split and Jacques Janse van Rensburg in the 2nd. Another couple of crashes saw Serge and Tyler held up as a group of 25 riders rode away. Group 2 and 3 then came together to try and pull the leaders back but it was not to be. The front group would arrive 1’28” ahead of the main chase group.
Tyler Farrar – Rider
With the wind and the rain and everything else, it was an extra crazy day of the Tour. Everyone is always nervous anyway but everyone was extra nervous today so it was quite hectic out there. We had Serge, myself and Jacques in the 2nd group and initially Serge and I were in the front split. There were some crashes in that town with all the roundabouts at 40km to go and that split our group, and Serge and I were caught behind that so we just had to watch the race ride away.
Jens Zemke – Head of Performance
We had high expectations and big dreams but the crazy weather destroyed our plans a bit, especially in the middle part of the race where the thunderstorms and heavy wind blew the bunch apart. Unfortunately we only had three guys in a relatively good position in the race but nobody in the front group. Though if Tyler had been there I think we could have got a good result but we could not help him. The days for our African riders are still to come though.