After the fall in yesterday's stage, it was in doubt if Sam Bennett is able to continue the Tour de France 2016. In the morning, the true Irish fighter decided together with the team doctor to give it a go.
„I'm very happy that there is nothing broken. I could sleep well und therefore it was possible to take on the stage with a protective bandage at the fingers. “- Sam Bennett
Immediately after the official start, it was once again Paul Voss in the polka dot jersey, who attacked to collect some more KOM points. After a few meters BORA – ARGON 18 teammate Cesare Benedetti with Jasper Stuyven (Trek Segafredo) and Vegard Breen (Fortuneo) were able to close on Paul, the quartet then increased its lead over the peloton very quickly to over 6 minutes.
Paul tried everything to defend his jersey today, but Stuyven and Breen were the ones to take the points. After Paul realised that he was not able to beat them in sprints, he tried to go on a solo like yesterday, but all his efforts were countered from either Stuyven or Breen.
For Cesare the fight ended in the first group 25k before the finish. Paul showed fighting spirit in a very difficult final. When rain and tailwind changed the game again, it looked like the remaining 3 leaders could battle for the stage win. But after Breen was dropped, also Paul was caught from the peloton with about 2k to go.
World Champion Peter Sagan of Team Tinkoff won the sprint in a superior way and he is now the new leader in the GC, so he will wear the yellow jersey on stage 3. Stuyven, who was just caught with 300m to go, is the new leader in the KOM classification.
Sam Bennett finished the stage in last place and will also be on the start line for tomorrow’s third stage.
„Today I rode very offensive from the beginning and I tried everything. The chance was there that we get through to the finish, but probably it was at the point of 8k to go when we gambled to much. It's a shame but we tried everything. You have to try it as long as you can - now I need 2 days of rest in the peloton. “- Paul Voss
„In the last 40k it was really hard. My legs were still fresh and also the last kilometers should have suited me, but suddenly I got cramps. I rode together with Emu (Emanuel Buchman) to the finish then and I think we did just lose a few seconds." - Patrick Konrad