Alaphilippe sprints to Tirreno-Adriatico second stage win
World champion Julian Alaphilippe won an uphill sprint finish to take the second stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy on Thursday, his third win in the 'Race of the Two Seas'
Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel crossed second ahead of Belgian Wout van Aert, who retains the overall lead, after the 202km run from Camaiore to Chiusdino in Tuscany.
Slovenian Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar was fourth.
"This first victory of the season is a relief for me," said Frenchman Alaphilippe, who also won two stages in 2019.
"Kasper Asgreen and Zdenek Stybar helped me position myself.
"I didn't know what was going on behind me, but when I saw Joao ahead of me, I knew I would win.
"I could just focus on keeping my position. I went full gas when my time came.
"You can never be sure of victory. It's a special feeling. It's not easy to win, but the team believed in me today and I am happy that I was able to repay them."
Jumbo-Visma rider Van Aert retains the race lead with a four-second advantage on Alaphilippe with Van der Poel third at eight seconds.
"The third place is the maximum I could get today. When Julian accelerated I was already at my limit. He was the strongest today."
Wednesday's third stage covers 219km from Monticiano in Tuscany with a climb to Poggio della Croce, followed by a flat run and a slight uphill finish to the line in the ancient Umbrian town of Gualdo Tadino.
VIDEO: 2021 Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 2
2021 Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 2 Top 10
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 5:01:32
2 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
3 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
4 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
5 Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
6 Robert Stannard (Aus) Team BikeExchange
7 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
8 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
9 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafred
2021 Tirreno-Adriatico GC after stage 2
1 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 8:37:35
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:0:04
3 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 0:0:08
4 Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:0:11
5 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious 0:0:13
6 Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën Team 0:0:14
7 Robert Stannard (Aus) Team BikeExchange
8 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
9 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
10 Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech