The Tirreno-Adriatico peloton crossed Tuscany from north to south on Tuesday and eventually arrived together in Follonica. As expected, a sprint concluded the second stage of the Race between the two Seas. Fabio Jakobsen took the victory while Fabian Lienhard crossed the line in thirteenth position. Wednesday, another bunch sprint is expected in Foligno.

In the aftermath of the opening and wet time trial in Lido di Camaiore, the riders of Tirreno-Adriatico started under a few sunny spells on Tuesday for the second stage. Without major hills listed in the final, this long 210-kilometre day was set to finish with a sprint. “For our two leaders, Valentin and Thibaut, the goal was simply to finish in the winner’s time”, explained Benoit. “They had to ride a bit conservatively while not suffering any split and be careful of the crashes. Then, we also wanted to do a good sprint with Jake. Even if we knew that such flat terrain did not really suit him, we wanted to put him in good conditions”. By the time the race passed Pisa after around thirty kilometres, the day’s breakaway was already established for a while and had an advantage leaning towards five minutes. In the lead Davide Bais, Mirco Maestri (Eolo-Kometa), Stefano Gandin, Alessandro Iacchi (Team Corratec) and Roland Thalmann (Tudor) led the race for some time and could compete for the first king of the mountain halfway through the race. After the climb, Bais sat up, then Gandin did the same after passing the intermediate sprint seventy kilometres from the finish. Only three riders remained in the lead, and then saw their lead gradually reduce, before being caught with just twenty kilometres to go.

“It was hectic”, Benoît Vaugrenard

“It wasn’t a lively race today”, said Benoît. “The bunch rode at its own pace behind the breakaway. When they arrived on the last circuit of twenty-two kilometres, there was therefore a lot of tension. Everyone was fresh, so there was a big fight for positions”. The only small climb featuring more than kilometres to go did not create any selection and the bunch headed a whole towards the finish. “On this type of course, very flat, on large roads, we had a disadvantage to bring Jake to the sprint”, added Benoît. “We missed a lead-out train, even if we had a good rouleur with Bruno. We did our best”. However, the Briton and his lead-out man Fabian Lienhard did not find their way through in the last hundreds of metres and therefore remained a bit in the back. The Swiss man took 13th place and the Englishman 18th. “They had trouble finding each other in the final, but it was not easy”, concluded Benoît. “Against the big teams, we knew it was going to be hard, but we had to make the most of the other teams, stay in the wheels, sneak in and do a good sprint. That said, the sprint was not straight-forward. It was hectic. We had to be on the right side and be lucky, but we will try again”. This should come already on Wednesday towards Umbria and Foligno. “It will be a long stage again, but with a slightly more tortuous finish”, previewed Benoît. “It will be more about positioning and it could suit Jake a little more compared to today”.

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