Cycling: After the impressive prologue, the next test was on the agenda for the overall ranking favorites today. A total of six climbs awaited on the 156-kilometre-long second stage of the day, with the finish line at the Col du Béal – the hardest at the end.
A breakaway group of five around Mathias Brändle (IAM) and Kevin Reza (Europcar) determined what was happening at the front until the almost ten-kilometer long climb. Reza secured the most of the climbs, but his strength was not enough when Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) blew up the group at the start of the finish climb.
The Italian took 2:30 onto the field on the way up the Col du Béal. In the meantime, the NetApp-Endura team set the pace in the field, followed by Sky. But while the Raublinger finally had to give up, it was overall leader Chris Froome (Sky) himself who wanted to take control of the race.
Minutes after De Marchi was caught, Froome attacked. Only Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) was able to follow him. However, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) and Jürgen van den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) had worked their way up to the 9 percent steepest section of the climb, just under five kilometers from the finish.
Eventually, with four kilometers to go, Kelderman increased the pace, causing difficulties for Nibali. However, the Italian managed to work his way back up to the top together with Andrew Talansky (Garmin Sharp). So the decision was only made on the steep final kilometer.
Here it was again Froome who set the pace from the front. Only Contador was able to hold onto his rear wheel, but didn't have the strength to overtake the Briton. After 4:24:41 hours, he was happy about his second success within two days. Kelderman was third, four seconds back. Nibali lost 27 seconds to Froome.