Germany’s Liane Lippert wins stage 2, after a chaotic finish in the rain

Second to Mauriac, Lotte Kopecky keeps the yellow jersey, after a stage glazed by several crashes.

Rain, crashes and a final explanation between the leaders: the 2nd stage of the 2023 Women’s Tour de France was gifted with a spectacular finale, on Monday 24 July, between Clermont-Ferrand and Mauriac. Under the pouring rain, which caused a cascade of falls on wet asphalt, it was Liane Lippert (Movistar) who crossed the finish line first, after a sprint in a restricted committee. The German champion beat Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx), who keeps the yellow jersey, and Sylvia Persico (UAE Team ADQ).

Having crashed twice during the day, like many runners, Liane Lippert took advantage of the hard work of her teammate, Marlen Reusser, which resulted in a breakdown in the final impact a few hundred meters from the finish. Only 4 riders were left around the German champion, who proved to be the freshest after a breathless and tense finish in the rain. However, we had to wait a long time to see the race stabilize as the bumpy track promised a good battle.

A shower of waterfalls

“It was quite frustrating, we had prepared for a four hour time trial. But, in the beginning, he was attacking, he was resting, he was attacking, he was resting…”regretted the French Cédrine Kerbaol (Ceratizit-WNT). “At the end of the race, there, it was no longer the same delirium, it seemed more like a Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the rain didn’t help. It was technical and slippery”, blew the Breton, white jersey, who went on the attack in this chaotic final match, in the middle of a downpour.

French Cedrine Kerbaol talks about the day's race when the forecasts weren't good.  A stage that ended on hats with a lot of technique, especially due to the rain.

Struggling on Sunday, Frenchwoman Juliette Labous (Team DSM) also tried her luck in what remained of the peloton as she approached the finish line. Alongside the other favourites, all present in this group, Franc-Comtoise was unable to increase the gap but reassured herself about her form, after losing 43 seconds in the 1st stage.

“The last descent, everyone wanted to get into position. There were a lot of crashes and tensions”, added Evita Muzic (FDJ-Suez), also present in this group. Among the many crashes of the day, that of the Dutch Eva Van Agt (Jumbo-Visma) was particularly impressive, the runner who ended up on the ground under the safety barriers when she was part of a group of three breakaways. Marianne Vos’ teammate was saved by Tour de France medical teams.

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