56th Tirreno Adriatico
Stage 2: Camaiore-Chiusdino (202 km)

Let yourself be seen. To put up a fight. And at the same time, with points at stake, to reinforce the provisional lead in the KOM. Such was the double front with which the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team approached the day. The ProTeam structure of the Contador Foundation was again present in the breakaway, and again twice, and fought to get to the front of the points that the Poggio alla Croce, with its summit 30 km from the end. Scotland’s John Archibald and again Vincenzo Albanese were the team’s main protagonists on Thursday. But the winding terrain of the Sienese hills encouraged the strong men, set the pace crazy and fuelled the offensives. Albanese was not able to add, but he was able to resist and again this Friday he will start with the green jersey.

In another frenetic start with several alternatives in the search for the breakaway almost from the start, Archibald and Albanese ended up taking a cut with Simon Pellaud (Androni), Marcus Burghard (Bora-Hansgrohe), Simone Velasco (Gazprom) and Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Intermarchè Wanty Gobert). The six of them, well-matched, with a good understanding, managed to open up a gap of just over five minutes. Together they managed the entire flat, but their advantage was no longer consolidated when the race entered the Colline Metallifere. At the foot of the start of the climb to Poggio alla Croce the breakaway was absorbed. The stage entered another phase with the men with aspirations for the general classification and thirty kilometres to go.

In this phase of the race, the Spaniard from Granada, Alejandro Ropero, remained in the leader’s group at all times. The Andalusian rider managed to arrive in the group of about 40 units that ended up fighting for the partial victory once they were caught, one by one, Simon Yates, Mikel Landa, Pavel Sivakov and Joao Almeida. The victory went to world champion Julian Alaphillippe. Ropero signed the 39ª final position.

Vincenzo Albanese: “Today was tough, much tougher than the first stage. I knew that the GPM was far from the start and that it would be difficult to get there with the breakaway, but I tried, and certainly in the coming days I will try to take some points to consolidate my ranking. I know that the real mountains will come, I’m not a pure climber but I can move well on those climbs that aren’t too hard. I’ll certainly keep trying”.

Alejandro Ropero: “This was a beautiful stage: very long, quite easy in the first part but very hard at the end. When the stage got going the important thing was to try to stay with the top group, and I managed to do that, so I’m really happy. But the team was really incredible: two riders in the breakaway, Albanese who managed to defend the green jersey, a great job for everyone. I think we’re really responding to what Ivan Basso asked of us before this race: we’re all very focused, we just need to continue to grow”.

This Friday, the third stage of Tirreno Adriatico will connect Monticiano and Gualdo Tadino over a 219 kilometres route that in its first kilometres will retrace some of the routes of this Thursday.

[ Maurizio Borserini (1), PhotoGomezSport (2), La Presse (3)]

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