Alvaro Hodeg couldn’t fight for victory after being boxed in on the finishing straight.
Stage 2 of the race (Royan – Echiré, 186.3 kilometers) was the last clear opportunity for sprinters to etch their name on the winners’ list at this edition of Tour Poitou-Charentes, so it didn’t come as a surprise that they all sent delegates at the front of the peloton to control the gap of the three escapees: Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Damien Gaudin (Total Direct Energie) and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R).
Sitting just ten seconds behind the overall leader, the trio were allowed only a three-minute gap that the bunch easily kept in check before reeling them in with a shade over ten kilometers left. The sprint was won by Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ), who retained the white jersey with two days to go, while Bert Van Lerberghe was Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s first rider home after Alvaro Hodeg was boxed in just as he was preparing to launch his sprint.
Tour Poitou-Charentes will continue Saturday with two half stages from Chasseneuil-du-Poitou to Jaunay-Marigny: one suited to the attackers in the morning and a rolling individual time trial in the afternoon.
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