Tour de France Women stage 2: Marianne Vos wins big with stage victory and yellow jersey

This story first appeared on VeloNews.com.

Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) launched an unstoppable sprint of a group of six riders to win stage 2 of the Tour de France Women with Zwift.

The Dutchman’s huge push saw her take the lead in the GC after overnight yellow jersey Lorena Wiebes missed out on the winning split.

Silvia Persico (Valcar-Travel & Service) and Kasia Neiwiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) completed the stage podium after the difficult uphill sprint.

“It’s not revenge, it’s just beautiful, a great day,” Vos said after finishing second to Wiebes in Stage 1.

The victory in Provins gives Vos the 241st victory of an almost unrivaled track record. Adding to the tally in the first Tour de France Women added something extra.

“So far this is definitely the best [victory], it’s amazing,” she said. “Of course you are here trying to be focused, but to get the win today is wonderful, I have to thank my team.”

Trek-Segafredo dominated a crucial six-rider breakout that went flawlessly in the final 20 kilometers. Elisa Longo Borghini and Elisa Balsamo led the breakaway, but failed in the final and missed the podium.

FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope had a disastrous race during a final full of pitfalls. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig lost 1:38 and top climber Marta Cavalli retired after her heavy fall.

Kristen Faulkner (BikeExchange-Jayco) also lost time.

The first holidays do not last long

Rotem Gafinovitz (Roland Cogeas Edelweiss), Femke Gerritse (Parkhotel-Valkenburg), Marit Raaijmakers (Human Powered Health) and Sabrina Stultiens (Liv Racing-Xstra) started the first break of the day in the first 20 kilometers of racing and reached a 2:30 lead.

DSM got ahead of what seemed like a death-certified group sprint.

A change in direction of the course saw the wind blow hard on the peloton. The strong breeze and an increase in pressure as the teams tried to force the splits demolished the front four advantage to bring the peloton together with 78km to go.

Crashes wreak havoc as FDJ suffers

As in Stage 1 on Sunday, the crashes were constant in the frenetic final hour as the peloton raced towards Provins.

An accident towards the rear of the peloton 30 km from the finish caused dozens of riders to fall, although all participants sought to remount their bikes. A few kilometers later, an AG Insurance-NXTG went wide on a bend and hit a curb.

The drama continued with a dramatic incident about 25 km from the finish. A fall swept over the peloton, catching up with Marta Cavalli (FDJ Suez Futuroscope), who was then piled up at high speed by Nicole Frain (Parkhotel Valkenburg). Cavalli carefully got back on the bike and watched in pain as she struggled through the cars to chase.

A fourth incident happened a few minutes later when the peloton escaped on narrow roads before the intermediate sprint.

Meanwhile, a lone attack by white jersey wearer Maike van der Duin (Le Col-Wahoo) was left unguarded as the peloton exploded into pieces.

Uttrup Ludwig was the biggest name caught in the carnage and FDJ fell en masse to push her back.

SD Worx led the charge in the peloton sprint with 20km to go, with Wiebes winning the seconds.

Balsamo makes sprinters suffer

Balsamo lit the burners in confusion after the intermediate sprint in what turned out to be the decisive move.

Longo Borghini, Vos, Niewiadoma, Silvia Persico (Valcar-Travel & Service) and the breakaway Van der Duin jumped into the wheels of the world champion and the stellar sextet took the gap.

Annemiek van Vleuten missed and Movistar chased hard, but the escapees were never seen again as they took a 40 second lead.

Balsamo led the lead group on the shallow final climb to the line. The Italian’s compatriot and team-mate Longo Borghini got out of the wheel before Niewiadoma gathered the peloton.

Van der Duin tried to move next but passed out before Niewiadoma ignited the sprint. Vos scored and pulled away from the peloton with a huge sprint that earned her the stage and the yellow jersey.

Uttrup Ludwig never returned to the top contenders for the GC in the eventful final stage of the race and is now nearly two minutes out of the GC.

The other classification contenders arrived at the line in a flurry of breakouts and headed into Stage 3 between 40 and 60 seconds back on Vos.

Tour de France Women (2.WWT)
Meaux → Provins