Chaves the highest finisher on a tough finish to the second stage at the Tour de France

Colombian climber Esteban Chaves was the highest finisher for Team BikeExchange on today’s second stage at the Tour de France which finished with a punchy uphill kick up the Mur de Bretagne.

The 30-year-old crossed the line in 21st place with teammate Lucas Hamilton close behind, as the race split up on the challenging fast paced finishing drag, with Mathieu van der Poel coming out on top with a late attack.

Yesterday’s second place finisher Michael Matthews felt the effects of his efforts on the opening stage and with two times up the Mur de Bretagne, it proved to be a little too much for the Australian rider. With 19 stages still to come, there’s plenty more opportunities with the peloton still remaining all on similar times.

Michael Matthews
I guess after my performance I expected quite a lot out of myself, and I guess yesterday took it out of me more than I thought it did, so in one word, disappointed.

We positioned really well coming into the circuit, the first time up the climb my legs totally exploded, and it was as if I was a different bike rider. Yesterday I could do what I wanted and today unfortunately I couldn’t.

I just tried to survive the first time up the Mur de Bretagne then the second time I went to get out the saddle and just couldn’t. We had Esteban and Hamilton up there in the final, and there’s still a long way to go, so we’re looking forward to the coming days.”

Matt White – Head Sport Director 
“It got pretty heavy on the final circuit there and most of the type of riders like Matthews got isolated at the finish. We’ve lost our place on GC but Esteban and Lucas Hamilton were up there in the front part of the group at the finish.

It was a nervous day, in and out of towns and wet then dry then wet again. Tomorrow is a more traditional sprint stage.”

2021 Tour de France – Stage 2:
1. Matthieu van der Poel 4:18:30
2. Tadej Pogacar +0:06
3. Primoz Roglic +0:06
21. Esteban Chaves (Team BikeExchange) +0:08

General Classification after stage 2:
1. Matthieu van der Poel 8:57:25
2. Julian Alpahilippe +0:08
3. Tadej Pocagar +0:13
15. Esteban Chaves (Team BikeExchange) +0:26

Photo courtesy of Getty Images