Race report

Michael Storer digs deep on explosive finale

Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var

Photo Credits: Cor Vos

After yesterday’s opening hill-top finish today the peloton were faced with yet another uphill finale, albeit stage two’s final climb would turn out to be a lot punchier and feature leg-sapping gradients.

With the slight chance a break could succeed on today’s course if the right group and teams got away, a ferocious pace was set over the rolling terrain in the opening hour, with plentiful attacks. Like yesterday, the team were very active in trying to make the move and featured in some failed attempts before a group of seven riders managed to get clear with all Team DSM riders in the bunch.

The break fought hard and held onto their advantage well which resulted in a fast final hour of racing around the finish lap. Over the testing terrain the team did well to protect Michael Storer and tried their best to position him for the almost ten percent average gradient final climb, known locally as the Mur de Fayence. Storer dug deep on the stinging gradients, just losing contact with the tail end of the front group in the final few hundred metres, after a good effort.

Tomorrow sees the peloton take on an incredibly tough final stage with over 3500 metres of climbing squeezed into only 130 kilometres – we should see some exciting racing!

“Today was another hard stage with a steep finishing climb,” explained Storer after the finish. “The course became selective under the pressure put on by a strong breakaway forcing the peloton to race faster. We focussed on improving on our team work from the first stage and we look forward to trying again tomorrow.”

Team DSM coach Michiel Elijzen added: “Again it was a hard day on the bike, with a lot of climbing. We tried to make the breakaway but missed the seven rider move that went clear. At the end it was a pretty tough pace that the GC teams and those going for the stage put on the peloton. We couldn’t really deliver Michael into the best position for the final climb because of that. We’re just missing that few percent, which on a finish like this makes all the difference in the end.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 WOODS Michael Israel Start-Up Nation 4:16:54 14
2 MOLLEMA Bauke Trek - Segafredo 0:02 5
3 NARVÁEZ Jhonatan INEOS Grenadiers 0:04 3
35 STORER Michael Team DSM 0:36 -
44 VANDENABEELE Henri Team DSM 0:55 -
60 BRENNER Marco Team DSM 1:40 -
94 TUSVELD Martijn Team DSM 5:35 -
117 VERMAERKE Kevin Team DSM 10:17 -
130 SALMON Martin Team DSM 11:18 -
138 HEINSCHKE Leon Team DSM 11:42 -