Alaphilippe fulminates Van Avermaet; Adam Yates is the leader

The Frenchman, who is coming to win his first Strade Bianche, snatched the victory from the Olympic champion, while Bettiol completed the podium.

The Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step) on Thursday greeted Belgian Greg Van Avermaet (CCC) and triumphed in the second stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico, with departure in Camaiore and arrival in Pomarance and a route of 195 kilometers, in the that the British Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) took the lead.

Alaphilippe, who conquered his first classic Strade Bianche on Saturday, finished the stage in 4 hours, 48 minutes and 9 seconds, and snatched the victory from the Olympic champion Van Avermaet, while Italian Alessio Bettiol (Education First) completed the podium. The French runner is in form, who picked up the award for a brilliant management of the stage, in which he remained in the group until the last 500 meters, when he showed his strength to the sprint.

The test was opened at 11.30 local (10.30 GMT) with five runners, including the Spanish Markel Irizar (Trek), who took the initiative and who, 100 kilometers from the end, were made with a margin of about five minutes ahead on a platoon composed of the Australian Michael Hepburn, winner of the time trial on Wednesday.

In the sunny Tuscan afternoon, with a temperature of about 18 degrees centigrade, the group controlled the leaders without particularly increasing the pace and kept the distance between the three and four minutes, having clear that the race would be decided in the intense ascents of the final section.

El platoon, powered by the Quick-Step team of Alap hilippe, began to reduce the margin in the absence of 30 kilometers to the goal, where a small and demanding circuit was opened, with earrings of 16% that happened twice by Pomarance. An advantage that for the leaders was just in the so-called Valley of the Devil, an area near the municipality of Pisa famous for the geothermal power stations, with 13 kilometers to the finish line.

They were all the most expected, with the Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), Geraint Thomas (Sky ), Van Avermaet, the Slovenian Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) or Alaphilippe who faced the tremendous final climb in the head of a group that, gradually, was losing pieces. The first to seek the glory was the Italian Daniel Oss, but his attack, started six kilometers from the end, lasted only six hundred meters. From there, the Kazakh Andrej Lutsenko (Astana), Roglic, the Czech Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step) and Van Avermaet gave battle and alternated to the command of the stage.

Alaphilippe observed from close as his rivals fought for the victory when they were missing still about two kilometers to the end and waited for the most appropriate time to exit the sprint. Atacó 500 meters from the end and battled with Van Avermaet. He gave him no choice, stayed ahead and arrived with the arms to the sky to the finish line, to celebrate another great victory after Saturday in Siena, in the Strade Bianche.

The overall classification saw the Mitchelton-Scott team confirm Wednesday's victory in the time trial, with Adam Yates and his American partner Brent Bookwalter who are tied at the helm, with a total time of 5 hours, 10 minutes and 34 seconds. Roglic is third, seven seconds behind them, while Dumoulin is sixth, at 22 seconds. The winner of the day, Alaphilippe, is eighth, to 27 seconds. The third stage will be played on Friday, from Pomarange to Foligno, 226 kilometers.

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