The route of the 2nd stage is undulating from start to finish. But the course should not worry fast men. The elevation gain is marginal, while the route is approximately 20 kilometres shorter.
Pocketing five victories, Marcel Kittel was in a class of his own in last year’s Tour de France. Dylan Groenewegen (on Champs-Élysées, when Kittel already pulled out) and Arnaud Démare (after a chaotic and crash marked finale) took the other two sprints.
Kittel’s move to Katusha started to pay off quite late this season. But the German landed his first two victories in the Tirreno-Adriatico. Young Groenewegen seems to be a new big name though, the Dutchman won stages in the Dubai Tour, Volta ao Algarve, Paris-Nice, and pocketed his first Classic, Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, while Kristoff powered to wins in the Tour of Oman and Adu Dhabi Tour before he added Eschborn-Frankfurt 2018 to his palmares. Both Gaviria’s and Greipel’s season has been plagued by setback, although they are not empty ended as they won early races – Gaviria in Latin America and Greipel at the Tour Down Under. Ewan also won a stage in his home race as well as on the Clasica de Alméria. Arnaud Démare sprinted to the leader’s jersey in Paris-Nice’s 1st stage on an uphill cobbled arrival.
Favourites 2nd stage 2018 Tour de France
*** Dylan Groenewegen, Fernando Gaviria, Peter Sagan
** Michael Matthews, André Greipel, Marcel Kittel, Nacer Bouhanni
* Alexander Kristoff, Caleb Ewan, Sonny Colbrelli, Mark Cavendish
Tour de France 2018 stage 2: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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La-Roche-sur-Yon and Mouilleron-St.-Germain at Google maps
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