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Frenchman Paul Magnier wins second stage of the Peace Race

Magnier celebrates stage two victory
Magnier celebrates stage two victory Profimedia
Paul Magnier (20), a French cyclist, won stage two of the Peace Race U23. In Rymarov, Tibor del Grosso of the Netherlands crossed the line in second and Jeferson Armand Ruiz of Columbia finished third.

Dane Morten Aalling Nortoft set off on the 117.6 kilometre stage from Unicov to Rymarov with an elevation gain of 1,733 metres in the yellow jersey of the race leader, the green jersey was worn by Storm Ingebrigtsen of Norway, Belgian Tim Rex wore the alpine jersey, and Cesare Chesini rode in the white jersey of the best young competitor.

The opening kilometres went by at a frantic pace. The peloton flew at an average speed of 48 kilometres per hour up to the first climbing premium. Before reaching the peak, a group of six competitors, Belmans and Michels (both of Belgium), Gieryk (Poland), Rinklef (Germany), Del Grosso (Netherlands), and Ingebrigtsen (Norway) took the lead.

However, there were still a hundred kilometres to go, so it didn’t mean much that the group of Magnier (France), Wallenborn (Luxembourg), Aebersold (Switzerland), Lima  (Portugal), Theiler (Germany), and Preyler (Austria) joined the breakaway.

Eighty-five kilometres before the finish line, the peloton swallowed up all twelve cyclists after Ingebrigtsen won the hill premium in Mutkov ahead of Gieryk and Michels from Belgium.

Ruiz from Colombia won the sprint premium in Sternberk.

After a calmer passage, the trio of Thierry (France), Kess (Luxembourg), and Noviero (Italy) broke to the front. There were 68 kilometres to go. Exemplary cooperation gave the trio of young competitors a lead of up to two minutes and forty-five seconds. 

With twenty-five kilometres to go, the peloton began to pedal with all their might in an attempt to catch up with the breakaway group.

In favour of the main group was the fact that the route included the Tvrdkov climbing bonus, where the cyclists had to climb 6,200 metres at an average gradient of 4.6 per cent.

At the same time, a kilometre before the summit, the pursuing racers managed to reduce the deficit to forty seconds.

Over the summit of Tvrdkov, Thierry passed Kess and Novier, but their lead was reduced by a further fifteen seconds.

In the end, the admirable performance of the breakaway riders was not enough to maintain their distance from their pursuers. Three kilometres before the finish line, the peloton was just two hundred metres behind them.

The trio had already been absorbed back into the main field before the final race for the line and the winner of the stage was decided by a sprint in which the Frenchman Magnier had the most strength.

He rides on the World Tour roster of the Soudal Quick Step team and has already completed this year's Tour of Oman, where he won the third stage. 

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