Shortly after start a strong cross wind provoked split in the peloton with a group of 22 riders in front. Alexey Lutsenko of Astana made part of this group. Later, a few other groups came over the leaders creating a new big leading group with Lutsenko, Jakob Fuglsang and Matti Breschel there.
With 4 km to go it was Alexey Lutsenko, who launched at attack. It was a good try, but he was caught by the main bunch.
- Today’s stage was like a big classic race: the entire day everybody was on their 100%, while cold, rain, wind and almost 200 km made this day even harder. The tension in the race was from start until the finish. I tried to attack with 4 km to go, but, maybe, it was not the best moment – right after corner a strong front wind has stopped me. My legs were quite good, but it was almost impossible to fight alone against such a strong wind. In general, today I felt much better. Think, my form is better day by day, so all the best things are still to come! – explained Alexey Lutsenko.
The stage has been ended with a sprint, won by Italian Sonny Colbrelli. Astana rider Matti Breschel finished 6th.
- It was a really hard and cold day with cross wind from the beginning. So, I think it really affected all the riders. Hard stage. In the end, everybody was very tired, especially from the cold. In the sprint, I tried to stay up there in front fighting a little bit, but it was difficult because I did not really feel like I had control with the bike because my hands were freezing so much. I could not change a gear or something else. For the next stages I think we have to do a good tactic and will see what we can do with it, - sand Matti Breschel.
The general classification of the race is still led by Arnaud Demare.
Tomorrow will be held the third stage of the race: 190 km from Chablis to Chalon-sur-Saône.
Photo credit: © Bettiniphoto