Tour de France Stage 2: Strong Teamwork Sees Porte Safely Through Another Hectic Finale8. July 2018, La Roche-sur-Yon (FRA) — Road Team
A strong day of teamwork from BMC Racing Team helped guide Richie Porte through what ended up being another hectic day of racing at the Tour de France with the team’s leader crossing the line safely behind stage 2 winner, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe).
It was a similar story to stage 1 at the start of today’s race with three riders attacking almost immediately and opening up an advantage that was edging towards the three-minute mark after just 20km of racing.
Fernando Gaviria, the race leader at the start of the day, and his Quick-Step Floors teammates quickly took control of the pace behind and going over the top of the only categorized climb, the Côte de Pouzauges, after 28km of racing, the time gap had been brought under control.
However, the breakaway split shortly after the KOM with Sylvan Chavanel (Team Direct Énergie) going solo at the front of the race and extending his lead out to almost four minutes while the rest of the early breakaway was swept up by the main bunch.
A mechanical for Porte with 129km to go didn’t faze the Australian rider or his teammates, who reacted quickly to bring him back into the peloton as Chavanel continued to push his lead out to 4’25” over the rest of the field.
The BMC Racing Team train led by Michael Schär and Patrick Bevin was sitting up at the front of the main bunch going past the 100km to go mark and was well-positioned as the chase started to pick up.
Porte’s teammates continued to sit around him heading into the final 60km of the day as a momentary lull in pace at the front of the peloton saw Chavanel’s advantage, which had previously started to fall, go back out to over 4’30”.
Chavanel’s advantage eventually fell to less than two minutes with 42km to go and with a hectic and nervous chase reignited behind, he was finally caught with 13.5km to go.
From there, the intense pace being set neutralized the opportunity for any late attacks and in the end, the bunch was all together as it flew past the crucial 3km to go mark.
A crash on a tight corner with less than 2km to go forced a split in the bunch with a small group going on to fight for the stage win which was eventually claimed by Sagan who also moved into the yellow jersey.
After a strong display of teamwork throughout the day, Porte and the rest of his BMC Racing Team teammates crossed the line safely in the peloton just behind the front group, finishing on the same time as Sagan.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
“It was a super fast stage today. It was on pretty much all day and the pace being set was blistering. But, my teammates did a great job. They kept me in a good position right from the start and we were able to stay out of trouble and avoid the crash in the final so it was all good. The focus now turns to tomorrow’s team time trial and I think we have one of the strongest teams here so hopefully we can take back some time.”
Sports Director, Fabio Baldato:
“The guys did a good job today. Everyone was working well. On these two stages before the team time trial, we also wanted to save some energy to be good for tomorrow but this morning we discussed that we couldn’t lose anymore time and it was better to spend some extra energy to make sure that Richie was safe. That’s exactly what we did today.”
“Team time trials are one of our specialties. We like racing them and we perform well so tomorrow we are going to go all in.”
Tour de France
Stage 2: Mouilleron-Saint-Germain > La Roche-sur-Yon, 182.5km
Top 3: 1. Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) 2. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team) 3. Arnaud Démare (Groupama - FDJ)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 15. Greg Van Avermaet 18. Richie Porte 29. Damiano Caruso