Guillaume Boivin (Israel-Premier Tech) mentioned Monday that he was happy to be healthy to do his job as a teammate. This is once again what he was able to do in the second stage of the Cycling Tour of Catalonia on Tuesday.
Positioned at the front of the peloton with teammates, the Montrealer gritted his teeth for about 2 kilometers to give it his all at the foot of the final 15-kilometre climb, which allowed him to set the table for Ontarian Michael Woods, the protected rider of his team, in this 165 kilometer stage.
Woods finished the work undertaken by his teammates by remaining in the group of favorites to finish the stage in eighth place, 15 seconds behind the winner, the Italian Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo). The latter is ahead of the Slovenian and leader in the standings, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), as well as the Belgian and world champion, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step).
“It’s a good day for the team! commented Boivin, who reached the finish at his own pace, in 139e place (+17 minutes 34 seconds) in a group of 15 riders.
“We rode well and Mike [Woods] did a nice climb. He is sixth overall, so we will continue in this vein for the rest of the week. We hope it will continue to go well like this for the next steps. »
It was a heartbreaking day for Colombian champion Esteban Chaves (EF Education-Easy Post). Pulling out of the leading group with 6.5 kilometers to go after his group caught up with the last survivor of the day’s breakaway, his team-mate Simon Carr, Chaves appeared to be heading for the stage victory, but he was picked up by the leading trio 500 meters from the line.
Roglic retains the white striped green leader’s jersey 6 seconds ahead of Evenepoel. Woods passes from the 13e in sixth place, 31 seconds behind the Slovenian.
The peloton will remain in the Pyrenees where the third stage will be presented on Wednesday: 180 kilometers between Olost and the resort of La Molina. Two first category passes and one out of category will punctuate the day.
“It’s the stage with the most elevation gain with a finish in La Molina, so we’re going to rest tonight [mardi], because it will be a difficult stage! concluded Boivin.