Race report

Punchy finish on the Mûr-de-Bretagne

Tour de France

After yesterday’s chaotic opening stage in the Bretagne hills, the bunch were once again faced with rolling hills and a 183 kilometre long parcours this afternoon. With a tough stage finish atop the tricky Mûr-de-Bretagne, it was set to be a hard day out.

Upon leaving the neutralised zone there was a fast pace in the peloton with lots of attacks, where Mark Donovan and Joris Nieuwenhuis covered any dangerous groups for the team. Eventually the elastic snapped and a six rider breakaway went clear, building up a four minute advantage, with all Team DSM riders in the peloton. As the kilometres ticked by the gap to those ahead dwindled and the break eventually split up, with two riders pushing on. Despite their best efforts, the race was all back together at around 18 kilometres to go, with Cees Bol doing a good job to bring the team towards the front of the bunch.

A strong pace was set on the first ascent of the Mûr with the bunch thinning out drastically. Over the top, the tempo remained high as the race charged towards the second and final ascent. Mark Donovan did a great job to get to the front of the peloton with Tiesj Benoot and Søren Kragh Andersen in tow, dropping the duo off. Immediately from the bottom of the climb the attacks started and an infernal pace was set. Benoot and Kragh Andersen hung on for as long as possible but had to let go of the wheels just inside the flamme rouge, riding across the line together.

“It was some really good teamwork from the guys to put Søren and me in the front for the final climb,” explained Benoot. “We just couldn’t follow one kilometre from the top but if we keep this spirit up, then the results will also follow.”

Team DSM coach Luke Roberts added: “It was a less stressful stage today on a nice parcours with a double ascent of the Mûr-de-Bretagne. The guys rebounded from the knocks they took yesterday well and fought hard to bring Søren and Tiesj into position for the final. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to compete for a result on that finish but the fighting spirit gives us a good feeling for the stages ahead and we’ll keep trying.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 VAN DER POEL Mathieu Alpecin-Fenix 4:18:30 120
2 POGAČAR Tadej UAE-Team Emirates 0:06 50
3 ROGLIČ Primož Team Jumbo-Visma ,, 25
44 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team DSM 0:51 -
45 BENOOT Tiesj Team DSM ,, -
85 DONOVAN Mark Team DSM 3:48 -
92 NIEUWENHUIS Joris Team DSM 4:49 -
124 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM 9:06 -
167 PEDERSEN Casper Team DSM 13:06 -
180 BOL Cees Team DSM ,, -