The second stage took the riders from Villasimius to Tortoli. Two riders broke away from the pack and four others joined them halfway through the race. The six got a three-minute lead, but with ten kilometres to go, their adventure ended and the sprinters’ teams prepared for a bunch sprint.
Team Jumbo-Visma rode well up front and put Vos in a comfortable position on the final straight. The triple Giro winner seemed to be heading for the stage win, but in the last metres Balsamo passed her.
“I have rarely had such a nice and calm preparation for the sprint”, Vos said. “We planned to do a good lead-out and be in front together towards the final kilometre. That worked out perfectly. I started the sprint early; in the end only Balsamo could pass. That was a shame, but we did what we could.”
According to Vos, who is now fourth in the general classification, the ‘narrow second place’ offers perspective for the coming days. “Of course I would have liked to finish it off today, but you also know that it can go several ways in a bunch sprint. We got very close and there will undoubtedly be new opportunities. The classification is not a goal at the moment.”