August 6, 2021

Mathieu van der Poel wins at Mûr-de-Bretagne and takes the yellow jersey from Julian Alaphilippe

What a recital by Mathieu van der Poel! The Dutchman won the second stage of the Tour de France at the top of the formidable ascent of Mûr-de-Bretagne (2 km at 6.9%). On the line, he beat Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma). He therefore takes the yellow jersey in favor of Julian Alaphilippe, who finished fifth eight seconds behind the winner. Mathieu van der Poel led the final of the second stage, much quieter than the day before.

Schelling-Pérez, act II front

The peloton crisscrossed the roads of Côtes-d’Armor this Sunday, less prone to falls than those of Finistère. In today’s breakaway, we could find Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe), voted best combative on Saturday. The Dutchman did everything to find himself at the front in order to defend his best climber jersey. Two tricolors were present: Anthony Pérez (Cofidis), runner-up to Ide Schelling in the climber classification, and Jérémy Cabot (TotalEnergies). They were accompanied by Jonas Koch (Intermarché – Wanty Gobert), Simon Clarke (Team Qhubeka Nexthash) and Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo).

If the breakaway initially counted four minutes in advance, it was then disorganized. Partly to blame Ide Schelling and Pérez fought hard to collect the points of the day. This had the gift of annoying the other members of the breakaway, this battle harming their good understanding. If Anthony Pérez was able to take the lead at the top of the Côte de Sainte-Barbe, he was then sprinted by Ide Schelling at the top of the Côte de Pordic, which allowed the Dutchman to keep his jersey (4 points) .

Van der Poel gives Mûr-de-Bretagne a double blow

In the last thirty kilometers, as the first passage of Mur-de-Bretagne approached, the pace intensified. The Deceuninck-Quick Step, like Mark Cavendish, thirty times winner on the Tour, who elbowed to place his leader and yellow jersey, Julian Alaphilippe, big favorite of the day after his number at Landerneau the day before. Tailored for him, the ascent of Mûr-de-Bretagne (2 km at 6.9%) was an opportunity to increase his overall lead for the world champion. The unexpected offensive, full of panache, came from Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) who attacked on the first pass to pocket the eight seconds of bonuses at the top. This first ascent of Mûr-de-Bretagne scattered the peloton. Fourth on the first pass behind Roglic and Pogacar, Julian Alaphilippe was unable to pocket bonuses.

In the last five kilometers, the Ineos-Grenadiers tried to stretch the peloton. But she could not do anything against Mathieu van der Poel. The Dutchman countered an attack from Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) as the red flame passed before taking off. At the same time, he took the Yellow Jersey from Julian Alaphilippe, only fifth at the top of Mûr-de-Bretagne.

Mathieu van der Poel did not hide his joy or his emotion in Mûr-de-Bretagne. (B. Papon / The Team)

A nice nod to his grandfather Raymond Poulidor, who never managed to wear the yellow tunic. Overall, Mathieu van der Poel is ahead of Julian Alaphilippe by eight seconds, also a green jersey, and Tadej Pogacar by 13 seconds. Primoz Roglic is fourth at 14 seconds. The Tour favorites are already there.