Late crash reduces the bunch sprint on second stage of the Tour de l’Avenir

Sat 19 Aug 2017

Today’s second stage of the Tour de l’Avenir played out in very similar fashion to yesterday’s opener with an early breakaway being caught inside the final circuits, only this time the late attack did not stay clear and a crash affected sprint ensued.

Australia’s Robert Stannard was held up in the crash that occurred on the final corner just ahead of the finish line as a French rider lost control in the middle of the bunch that resulted in a major split.

Fabio Jakobsen (Netherlands) took the stage victory from the reduced bunch sprint with Lucas Hamilton the best placed Mitchelton-SCOTT rider in 33rd place, crossing the line alongside the other overall favourites.

The crash took place within the final kilometre and did not affect the general classification with Kasper Asgreen (Denmark) retaining the race leaders yellow jersey going into tomorrow’s stage three.

“It’s a real shame that Rob got caught up in the late crash,” said Sport director James Victor. “He was in a really good position and motivated to contest the sprint, but at least he came out of it without injury and only suffered a few scrapes.”

“We were looking forward to seeing how Rob would mix it with the big sprinters, he has a really fast finish and today would have suited his characteristics very well.

“The boy’s did a great job today, we instigated the early move that went clear and tried to bring about a more controlled pace in the bunch, we were comfortable throughout and held position very well going into the finale. It’s important to stay aware with these technical finishes as it can be easy to lose time and position if you slide too far back.

“It will be another similar day tomorrow, we will look to limit any losses that might occur and let the sprint teams compete for the green jersey. If there are any opportunities that come our way we will look to take them, but otherwise it will be about maintaining our position on GC and looking after Lucas and Jai Hindley.”

How it happened:

Stage two again took place in the Bretagne region and followed a similar parcours to that of stage one, rolling roads and a fast start that witnessed an early breakaway form involving two riders.

Over three minutes separated the field past the halfway point with a fast pace being maintained out front and the Danish team controlling the chasing peloton.

Today’s three finishing circuits in Bignan were anything but straightforward and included a challenging two kilometre drag up to the line that potentially could cause time losses for any teams caught the wrong side of split.

The Danish, Norwegian and French teams brought back the breakaway with 25kilometres and two laps remaining as the fight for position intensified at the front of the peloton.

Fresh attacks coloured the finale, each one closely marked by the Americans and the British who were holding out for the bunch sprint that in the end was totally disrupted by a late crash on the final corner.

A French rider overcooked the line and took down Stannard as Jakobsen took advantage and burst to the stage win from a reduced bunch sprint.

Tour de l’Avenir stage two results:

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Netherlands) 03:05:28

2. Alvaro Hodeg (Columbia) ST

3. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Norway) ST

33. Lucas Hamilton (Australia) 00:00:12

General Classification after stage two:

1. Kasper Asgreen (Denmark) 06:09:22

2. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Norway) 00:00:04

3. Alvaro Hodeg (Columbia) ST

25. Lucas Hamilton (Australia) ST