Davide Ballerini made it two-in-a-row in the Tour de La Provence after beating Giulio Ciccone in the uphill sprint that decided the winner of the second stage.
Shortly before the finish, as he began to prepare for the sprint for his teammate Ballerini on a wet pavement, Julian Alaphilippe found himself on the ground with Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana). But there was more fear than visibly harm for the world champion who quietly crossed the finish line a few minutes after the victory of his teammate.
“What a stage and what a team. They worked all day and I think it’s the best thing to win in the final when you see a team like this,” Ballerini said.
“I’m really, really happy for the team and the sponsor. I saw the crash from Loulou [Alaphilippe]. I think he’s good, I hope he’s good. It was not easy, it was very, very stressful in the final because it was raining, and also it was slippery on the downhill, but we stayed in front and did the best.”
After yesterday’s opening stage, the Italian sprinter already had the confidence in his finishing kick to make a repeat today and, in the long uphill sprint, Ballerini just barely held off Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) and Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech) to take the victory and extend his lead in the GC before Mont Ventoux.
— World Cycling Stats (@wcsbike) February 12, 2021