AFP/ Nyborg, Denmark
Sprinter Fabio Jakobsen won stage two of the Tour de France yesterday vindicating his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team’s decision to select him ahead of experienced Mark Cavendish.
Jakobsen edged Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert, who took the overall leader’s yellow jersey after the 202.2km run from Roskilde to Nyborg in Denmark that included a treacherous crossing of the 18km-long Great Belt Bridge.
Dutch rider Jakobsen’s win means Quick-Step have two victories in as many days, after they chose against picking veteran Cavendish, a 34-time stage winner on the race.
The 25-year-old Jakobsen suffered a life-threatening crash at the Tour of Poland in 2020, but has recovered to become one the most feared sprinter in road cycling as he embarks on his first Tour de France. “It’s been a long road for me to get here, if only you knew,” said Jakobsen, who lost all his teeth and underwent five hours of surgery after crashing over barriers into a metal post.
“Yes, it’s like a second life.
“Those who know me understand the sacrifices I had to make. So today I really am very happy,” he said.
“Today is incroyable. For me it was a long process step by step. A lot of people helped me along the way.
“This is to pay them back so they can see it was not for nothing. I’m happy I still enjoy riding the bike and racing and luckily I can still win. It’s an amazing day and I’d like to thank all the people that helped me to here.
“The team kept me in a good position in front when we exited from the bridge with the right-left combination and then the final straight. I could stay behind Morkov.
“He dropped me in the wheel of Van Aert. In the last few hundred metres I was on the left next to Sagan, we touched but luckily we stayed upright.
“There was a final stretch of 150 metres where I could launch and pass the other two. When I tell it like this it sounds easy but for sure the legs were in pain. This is what we train for, this is why we race. A stage of the Tour de France is what I’ve been dreaming about for 15 years.”
Dylan Groenewegen who was blamed for Jakobsen’s accident and received a nine months ban came eighth on the day here.
Double champion Tadej Pogacar retained the white jersey, for riders under 26, while Van Aert added the green sprint points jersey to his yellow one.
Mads Pedersen was third to give local fans double reason to celebrate as another Dane, Magnus Cort Nielsen, sporting a handlebar moustache, won the climber’s points jersey along the way.
Nielsen was hailed by mass crowds who had gathered in the port of Nyborg from early on with residents saying it was the biggest party in the small town’s history.
A day after an awe-inspiring wall of sound reverberated around Copenhagen reaching its peak as Jonas Vingegaard was swept along on a wave of emotion, rural Denmark also turned out in raucous droves to roar on the riders in bright sunshine.
The peloton set off from chic Roskilde, known as the garden of Copenhagen, with its galleries and festivals with New York rock group The Strokes due to play there later, a huge youthful crowds gave the race quite a send off.
The main feature of the race was the crossing of the Great Belt Bridge where overall leader Yves Lampaert was one of many fallers in strong winds.
The crossing from Denmark’s main island of Zeeland to the middle island of Fyn is windless only five days per year, and takes one million vehicles every month.
Second stage results
1 Fabio Jakobsen Quick-Step 04:34:34
2 Wout van Aert Jumbo-Visma + 00
3 Mads Pedersen Trek-Segafredo + 00
4 Danny van Poppel BORA-hansgrohe + 00
5 Jasper Philipsen Alpecin-Deceuninck + 00
6 Peter Sagan TotalEnergies + 00
7 Jérémy Lecroq B&B Hotels-KTM + 00
8 D Groenewegen BikeExchange-Jayco + 00
9 Luca Mozzato B&B Hotels-KTM + 00
10 Hugo Hofstetter Team Arkéa-Samsic + 00
General classification after second stage
1 Wout van Aert Jumbo-Visma 04:49:50
2 Yves Lampaert Quick-Step + 01
3 Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates + 08
4 Filippo Ganna INEOS Grenadiers + 11
5 Mads Pedersen Trek-Segafredo + 12
6 M van der Poel Alpecin-Deceuninck + 14
7 Jonas Vingegaard Jumbo-Visma + 16
8 Primoz Roglic Jumbo-Visma + 17
9 Bauke Mollema Trek-Segafredo + 18
10 Dylan Teuns Bahrain Victorious + 21
Fabio Jakobsen celebrates on the podium after winning the second stage.
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