- - Tirreno-Adriatico 2024 Stage 2

Tirreno-Adriatico 2024 Stage 2

photo credits @ Tirreno-Adriatico

Jasper Philipsen started his sprint season in devastating form today, leaving his rivals trailing in a bunch finish at Follonica in the second stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico.

With other top sprinters Mark Cavendish, Tim Merlier and Caleb Ewan in the field, a closer finale might have been expected, but the 26-year-old won by several bike lengths from Merlier.

“I did the recon work this morning,” said Philipsen.

Winner of the green sprint points jersey and four stages on the 2023 Tour de France, Philipsen will be the sprinter to beat on the Tour again this year.

“I found the right gear and I launched my sprint at the right moment,” Philipsen said.

Meanwhile, fellow Belgian Merlier of Soudal Quick-Step ran out of juice after accelerating 300m from the line, while the winner of yesterday’s opening individual time-trial, Juan Ayuso of Team UAE, retains the overall lead with Filippo Ganna in second at one second and Jonathan Milan in third.

Tomorrow’s 220km stage will run from Volterra to Gualdo Tadino with a slightly uphill finish.

Race Highlights

Stage two began with a four-rider breakaway, which formed shortly after the flag drop in Camaiore. The most decorated among the escapees was Polti-Kometa’s Davide Bais, winner of a Giro d’Italia stage last year, who secured the King of the Mountains jersey for stage three. 

With 63km to go, Bais’s breakaway companion Jan Stöckli (Corratec – Vini Fantini) shot out of the quartet. The Swiss rider swept up the intermediate sprint points and went solo up the road, before the peloton came back together with 37km remaining. 

The bunch’s speed barely dropped below 50km/h heading into the finale in Follonica. The pace proved too much for Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazqstan), who struggled to rejoin the pack after a puncture with 18km to go. 

Soudal Quick-Step and Uno-X led through a nerve-racking 90-degree bend with 300m to go, but Philipsen soon surged clear down the home straight. The Belgian, clad in denim print, had time to sit up and celebrate before crossing the line, such was the dominance of his sprint. 



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