Hirschi takes the stage and is the new GC leader
On Wednesday, the second stage of the SkodaTour Luxembourg took place, marking the queen stage over a distance of 186,1 km and no less than seven categorized climbs. On the last 50 kilometres, the Côte d’Eschdorf had to be tackled three times. The finish line was located 800 m behind the last climb, where Marc Hirschi (UAE Emirates) won the race, 8 seconds ahead of second placed Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick Step) and third placed David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ).
Hirschi also took over the yellow jersey from the Portuguese rider Almeida, who had worn it after his victory on the first stage. In the overall classification, Hirschi now has an advantage of 4 seconds on Almeida. Gaudu is third, 19 seconds back.
Sebastian Schönberger (B&B Hotels), Kenny Molly (Bingoal), Adam de Vos (Rally) and Kamil Gradek (Vini Zabu) formed the breakaway group of the day after the start in Steinfort. Schönberger and Molly were already in the leading group on the first stage and fought for the jersey of the best climbers classification, which Molly defended successfully.
A little bit less than 30 km before the finish, the leading group was caught and in the last lap, Anthony Turgis (Total Energies) took the lead. But he had no chance when the main favourites accelerated the pace. Hirschi attacked early. At the beginning, Nairo Quintana (Arkéa) tried to follow, but the Swiss rider was the strongest in the end.
Marc Hirschi: “I picked up the pace on the last climb and saw that there was a gap. That’s why I attacked again and gave full gas until the finish. I’m just getting into great shape and I’m happy to have won again after almost one year. Of course I will try to defend the yellow jersey, but it will be hard because the competitors are very strong.”