Mads Pedersen increases his overall lead in Circuit Cyclist Sarthe with a second place finish in Stage 2
Mads Pedersen capitalized on a full Trek-Segafredo team effort in Stage 2 of Circuit Cyclist Sarthe, sprinting to second place and increasing his lead in the overall classification to 13 seconds.
“The boys were really good today; they controlled the race, keeping me out of trouble and putting me in a good position for the sprint,” said Mads. “Just super teamwork from everyone today; it was a pretty nice day, just a bit sad that I couldn’t finish it off.”
There was a two-tiered plan for the Team coming into day two: first, defend yellow, and second, win the stage.
The team went to work early and controlled the 5-man breakaway, and everything was back to one bunch for the final 14 kilometers – check that box.
Then, on the tricky narrow roads for the final run-in, they positioned Mads right at the front. Alex Kirsch put in one last significant effort and pulled off with two kilometers remaining, leaving Mads to finish the impeccable teamwork.
However, Olav Kooij (Jumbo Visma) spoiled the Team from achieving a perfect day as he came over Mads in the final meters.
“It was a pretty hectic sprint,” Mads explained. “We had small roads in the last local lap. The first time I saw the final, I actually didn’t want to sprint because I didn’t want to take any risks, but the race got harder and harder so it made sense to sprint in the end.
“I was in the wheel of AG2R in the last kilometers, and then in the last right corner, some people came up on the right side – I would have done the same. So, I had to open the sprint a bit early, earlier than I wanted to. [Olav Kooij] was just faster in a sprint like this today, and that’s how it is.”
With two stages remaining – also likely to end in sprints – the Trek-Segafredo team is sitting in a good position, but with only a squad of five, they have their work cut out for them.
“Second place gave me a few more seconds, and that is nice. It looks good for the last two days,” continued Mads. “The boys were great today; we just need to do the same for the next days.”
With a stage win and a second-place already in his pocket, an on-from Mads with a motivated team behind him is poised for more.