Under partially cloudy and sometimes rainy skies, the Étoile de Bessèges stage 2 rolled through the Gard department in southeast France.
EF Education-Nippo rider Michael Valgren did not start after a crash yesterday, and the second stage saw a few more riders take a tumble, including Edvald Boasson Hagen of Total Direct Énergie and Danny Van Poppel of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert.
But still, there were many smiles as racing continued.
At the end of the day, Timothy Dupont from the smaller Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles squad bested WorldTour sprinters, while Christophe Laporte of Cofidis continued to lead the overall.
The peloton made its way through the rolling vineyards of the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
Geraint Thomas will lead Ineos Grenadiers at the 2021 Tour de France.
And Egan Bernal will lead Ineos at the Giro d’Italia.
The young Colombian is readying for a 2021 campaign that might see him attempt the Giro-Tour double.
The five men in the break worked well with each other, until they didn’t — on a climb at 40km to go.
Ludovic Robeet of Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles left the other breakaway riders in his rear-view mirror. He stayed away until 10km to go.
Vincenzo Nibali is looking for a faster season than 2020, in which he made top-10s, but missed the podium at several key races.
Nibali is expected to start the Giro d’Italia in May, but got his 2021 campaign off to an early start.
“Phil Gil” is tuning his fitness for another run at the Monuments. His goal, among others, is to add Milano-Sanremo to his palmares.
Cofidis escorting race leader Christophe Laporte.
Total Direct Énergie was another France-based WorldTour team driving the pace.
Timothy Dupont of Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles launched his winning sprint from a long way out, coming around Pierre Barbier of Delko and Giacomo Nizzolo of Qhubeka-Assos right at the line.
Duponte scored a big win alongside WorldTour favorites.
Laporte added two more seconds to his lead in the general classification.
Bora-Hansgrohe riders in the aftermath of one of the two crashes that disrupted the final 3 kilometers of racing.