Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) won a rainy stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse on Monday, nabbing his fifth victory of the season in his second day back to road racing after a two-month break.
The 178 km stage from Neuhausen am Rheinfall to Lachen came down to a busy finale as a much-reduced pack hit the short but steep second-category Litschstrasse climb with around 10 km to go. Aggressive riding from Mike Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) helped force splits in what was left of the peloton, and although Van der Poel was initially distanced, he joined the select lead group before the top of the climb.
Van der Poel, Woods, Alaphilippe, Carapaz, Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech), Marc Hirschi (UAE-Team Emirates), Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious), and Iván García Cortina (Movistar) led the race onto the final descent. Then, with 3 km to go, Van der Poel put in a big surge, opening up a small gap. Fuglsang, Schachmann, and Poels tried to chase, while those behind hesitated. Schachmann succeeded in bridging up to Van der Poel, and then Poels caught on inside the final kilometer.
With around 300 meters to go, however, Van der Poel opened up his sprint and immediately pulled away. He held on to take a convincing victory at the line. Schachmann would settle for runner-up honors, one second later, while Poels would take third, three seconds back. García Cortina, Hirschi, Carapaz, Woods, Alaphilippe, and Fuglsang arrived next, in that order, on the same time as Poels.
Overnight leader Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) came over the line with a group of chasers 22 seconds back to retain his overall lead by just one second ahead of Alaphilippe.
Tour de Suisse (2.UWT) Neuhausen am Rheinfall → Lachen
Deceuninck – Quick Step