Dubai, UAE, July 09, 2018: It was a positive day at the saddle for UAE Team Emirates' Alexander Kristoff as the Norwegian followed up yesterday's top five finish with another, crossing the line in fifth place during today's Stage two. The European Champion came into the final stretch alongside his fellow sprint specialists as they battled it out in the closing kilometre in what was another thrilling, but dramatic finish.
The day's breakaway went early and managed to hold off the peloton until they were 14km from the end. Once together, the group started to take their positions, navigating a number of tough corners and roundabouts as they approached La Roche-Sur-Yon. Avoiding a big crash just 2km from the finish – which took out a number of riders including the yellow jersey wearer, Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) – nine riders fought for the stage win, which was taken home by World Champion Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe), who will now take the yellow jersey into Stage three.
Commenting on the stage, Kristoff said: “I came from a little too far back, I knew I had to move up but I didn't really have the legs to do it. I did my best and if I was stronger I could have fought with the best, but I lack the legs at the moment to fight amongst the first three. I hope my legs become stronger later on in the tour.”
Tomorrow' stage will be the first Time Trial on this year's Tour – a 35km Team Time Trial (TTT). The course is predominantly flat and riders won't face too many difficult challenges on the course. However, there are some tight sections to the route that feature a number of roundabouts which could make for a particularly interesting day of racing. Focus will be key for each team as they hope to get their General Classification (GC) contenders across the line with the best possible time.
Stage Two Results
1. Peter Sagan (Slo) – Bora Hansgrohe 4:06:37
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) – Bahrain Merida “
3. Arnaud Demare (Fra) – Groupama FDJ “
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) – UAE Team Emirates “
General Classification Standings
1. Peter Sagan (Slo) – Bora Hansgrohe 8:29:53
2. Fernando Gaviria (Col) – Quick-Step Floors +00:06
3. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) – Bahrain Merida +00:10
9. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) – UAE Team Emirates +00:16