Once again, CCC Team was looking to get a rider out at the front of the race on stage two and the team’s tactic played out perfectly with Černý going clear early alongside five other riders but similarly to yesterday, the peloton kept the group on a tight leash, never allowing the gap to extend out beyond three minutes.
Despite the pace being set at the front of the bunch, and some nerves forcing the speed behind to increase further through an exposed section of the course, the breakaway pushed hard all the way to the final 16.3-kilometer long local lap before really putting the peloton under pressure.
After Łukasz Wiśniowski’s efforts on stage one, Černý also took advantage of the bonus seconds on offer through the Golden Kilometer, which came before the bell rang, taking seven important bonus seconds and helping to hold off the peloton until inside five kilometers to go.
With the catch made, the stage was set was another fast and furious bunch sprint that saw the race leader Sam Bennett (BORA – hansgrohe) take the win and Jakub Mareczko finish first for CCC Team, closely followed by Greg Van Avermaet.
Černý, who also finished safely in the peloton, now joins Wiśniowski at the top of the General Classification with the Czech rider sitting third behind his Polish teammate in second place.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
“The main tactic today was to have someone in the breakaway again and by doing that, I was able to help the other guys relax a little bit in the peloton behind and simply follow any moves or echelons that might form at some dangerous points on the course. I think already over the last two days, we have done a good job as a team to support our leader.”
“Once the breakaway formed, the cooperation was good and it was a nice breakaway to be in. There was quite a lot of wind today but with six riders working well together in front, I was really happy to up there for the team and I think that helped us to stay away for as long as we did. We had planned to attack through the Golden Kilometer again to get the bonus seconds. First, I stayed on the wheel for the first point and then continued through the second and third to win those and gain seven bonus seconds.”
Greg Van Avermaet:
“Once again, I am happy with how this stage went for me. It’s hard for me to do something for myself on the first three stages here, they are really sprinters’ stages and we tried to do what we could in the sprint again with Mareczko but we also want to make sure we have someone in the breakaway on these stages to try to win those extra seconds. For me, that’s important and it means I can also stay safe and wait until Thursday when the race finally starts to get hard. Hopefully, I have good legs when we reach that point and I can go for a good result.”
Binck Bank Tour
Stage two: Blankenberge > Ardooie (169.1km)
Top 3: 1. Sam Bennett (BORA – hansgrohe) 2. Jasper Philipsen (UAE-Team Emirates) 3. Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Visma)
CCC Team Top 3: 19. Jakub Mareczko 20. Greg Van Avermaet 44. Łukasz Wiśniowski