On the second and 100% Tuscan stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, the peloton headed towards a very likely sprint in Follonica on Tuesday. After almost 200 kilometers of racing, Jasper Philipsen claimed victory, while Fabian Lienhard joined in the sprint and took tenth place. On Wednesday, the final will be slightly harder towards Gualdo Tadino.

In the aftermath of the opening time trial in Lido di Camaiore, the Tirreno-Adriatico riders had to cross Tuscany from North to South on Tuesday, from Camaiore to Follonica, on a profile that could only benefit the sprinters. The traditional scenario then took place, with a small breakaway made of Lorenzo Quartucci, Jan Stöckli (Team Corratec-Vini Fantini) Davide Bais (Team Polti-Kometa) and Filippo Magli (VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè). The latter quickly took a six-minute lead over the bunch, which started to chase after an hour of racing and stabilized the gap around three minutes. “It was a quiet day,” said Yvon Caër. “We wanted for Romain and Valentin to have an easy day, but also to do all we could to put Fabian in good conditions for the sprint. The fact that we don’t have a top sprinter here doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work on the set-up that we will need for the future.”

“The guys did give it a try”, Yvon Caër

At the head of the race, the fugitives never worried the peloton, which even caught the last of them with almost thirty-five kilometres to go. The finish line was crossed for the first time with eighteen kilometres remaining, allowing a full-scale recon of the final, then the sprint slowly set up. In the last ten kilometres, Fabian Lienhard benefited from the support of Clément Davy, Valentin Madouas, Cyril Barthe and Olivier Le Gac, and the Groupama-FDJ squad even appeared at the front for a moment before being overtaken by favourites’ trains. “I think the guys did give it a try,” added Yvon. “It was also a bit dangerous in the last five kilometres with the road furniture. We therefore did not want to take any risks but still try to work for the future, and in particular for the Giro.” A little far from the head of the bunch following the last corner, Fabian Lienhard still delivered a good sprint to grab eleventh place of the day, which even became tenth after Biniam Girmay was disqualified. Jasper Philipsen took the win.

On Wednesday, a long day of 225 kilometres looms towards Gualdo Tadino. “The stage is a little hillier, it could suit the breakaway,” Yvon pointed out. “Will UAE Team Emirates and Visma-Lease a Bike let this happen? That’s the question. We will see how the race unfolds at the start of the stage.”

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