Tour de France Femmes: Stultiens attacks, Barbieri in top-10

In the second stage of the Tour de France Femmes Liv Racing Xstra showed itself again. Sabrina Stultiens was involved in an early breakaway, while Rachele Barbieri sprinted into the top-10.

The second stage in the Tour de France Femmes brought the peloton from Meaux to Provins over 136.4 km. Early in the stage Sabrina Stultiens got in an escape group with three other riders. The escapees worked well together and managed to build up a nice advantage when they reached the Côte de Tigeaux (1.5 km, 4.7 %). The gap grew till three minutes, as the peloton got a little nervous due to the chance at echelons. After a first attempt of some teams at 80 kilometres from the finish the gap with Stultiens and her companions was closed.

“It surprised me a bit that we got a big gap that quick. On this course and with the wind it was hard to stay away with only four riders. Despite this it was very nice to be in the front and give it a try. It was also fantastic to see all those people alongside the road and cheer for us. In the finale it was really hectic with crashes and echelons”, Stultiens told after the stage.

In the final 30 kilometres there were some crashes in the peloton, which caused more nervosity in the peloton. After the intermediate sprint in Provins a group of six riders took the lead. The peloton started to chase and split into several groups. Despite the chase the leaders battled for the stage win, which went to Marianne Vos who is also the new leader in the GC. Almost half a minute behind Vos the first part of the peloton finished in the streets of Provins. Rachele Barbieri sprinted to an eight place, her second top-10 spot in this Tour de France Femmes.

“Our riders stayed together again during the stage. Fortunately nobody of us was involved in one of the crashes, but some of our riders were held up by those crashes. In that way we couldn`t get organized to chase the escape group anymore. Jeanne did another good lead-out for Rachele, who got third in the peloton sprint and eight in the day`s result. That was a good result, because it was a tough finish. So we can be satisfied again about today”, sports director Wim Stroetinga concluded the day.