Dutch debutant takes yellow jersey

28 June 2021 02:44:10 GMTPlus10

Tour de France rookie Mathieu van der Poel was lost for words after winning stage two of this year's race and claiming the famous yellow jersey in the process.

The Dutchman is 1111/1 to win the Tour, with Tadej Pogacar 1/1000 and Primoz Roglic 1500/1, but he had a day to remember on the 183.5km route from Perros-Guirec to Mur-de-Bretagne.

The 26-year-old Van der Poel produced an impressive attacking ride to lead home the peloton and take the yellow jersey from Julian Alaphilippe, who had won Saturday's opening stage.

Alaphilippe, whose stage win was overshadowed by a mass crash caused by a spectator in the road, finished fifth on Sunday while Geraint Thomas's hopes of winning a second Tour title were dented as he lost ground on the early leaders.

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The Ineos Grenadiers rider, who won the Tour in 2018, is 41 seconds off the lead after two stages of this year's race and Slovenian pair Pogacar and Roglic, who finished first and second in the 2020 general classification, trail Van der Poel by 13 and 14 seconds respectively.

Thomas's Ineos team looked well placed with 8km to go in Sunday's stage but in the end they were no match for an inspired Van de Poel, whose late grandfather Raymond Poulidor was a legendary rider who finished second in the Tour three times and third on another five occasions.

Shortly after crossing the line, Van der Poel said: "I have no words.

"I gave everything I had got the first time because I needed the bonus seconds and it was my last chance to get the yellow jersey."

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