After a very successful opening time trial with massive crowds the peloton left Utrecht this morning for a stage of 166km to finish on the flood barrier Neeltje Jans. As the start sign was given four riders attacked and the bunch gave them the opportunity to take the publicity.
After 65km the first effects of the cross winds were noticed, as splits happened in the bunch. The gap to the four leaders went from 2’30” back to 30” and they were caught with 62.5km to go.
A major point of the race was at km108, as the bunch took a left turn with a crosswind coming from the right side. For the second time the bunch split and this time it was decisive. The first group of 24 riders got away including Tom [Dumoulin] and Warren [Barguil]. A chasing group with John [Degenkolb] and Ramon [Sinkeldam] was left behind.
In the sprint at Neeltje Jans German Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) was the fastest and won the stage. Tom took 8th and Warren [Barguil] 10th.
The winner of yesterday, Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) was not part of the first group and lost his yellow jersey today to Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing). Tom moves up one place in the GC to third, and more important; he takes the white jersey.
Tom reflected: “My day was good but not perfect. We went for the sprint opportunity for John [Degenkolb] today. He was caught up and not in the first group after the split.
“I only enjoyed the first 20km today, with all the amazing crowds in the Netherlands. After that, the Tour started with all its chaos and stress. I fought for my position all day, which went quite well as the split took place behind me. That was not just luck.
“I can leave the Netherlands with my head held high, as I performed well yesterday. Now I have the white jersey, which feels good and is nice, definitely more special than just wearing it. I hope I can go for yellow now, I will fight and will do my best.”
Source: Team Giant-Alpecin