The Frenchman Victor Lafay (Cofidis) won the second stage of the Tour de France this Sunday, between Vitoria and San Sebastián, ahead of the group of favorites one kilometer from the finish line. However, the British Adam Yates (UAE) retains the leader’s yellow jersey after this second day in the Spanish Basque Country.

Lafay, 27, prevailed ahead of two of the main stars of the peloton, the Belgian Wout Van Aert and the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar who, despite all their efforts, failed to catch him.

Van Aert, favorite for victory with his quality as a sprinter, delivered an angry blow to his handlebars. ‘I have believed until the end, it is a crazy thing! Yesterday I was a bit frustrated at the finish. Finishing today in the second stage is crazy,’ declared Lafay, who gave his Cofidis team the first victory in the Tour de France since Chavanel in 2008, 15 years ago.

The day before, Lafay had already made a great impression on the metro at the head with Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard, the two great favorites of the Tour, at the top of Pike, before finishing sixth in the stage in Bilbao. This Sunday, he repeated to escape a kilometer from the finish line from a group of about twenty runners among which were the main favorites for the general classification.

“It was a little worse than yesterday, it also gave me a point in the middle of the stage, but it hooked me well,” said the Frenchman, winner of a stage in 2021. A few minutes earlier, Pogacar and Vingegaard met at Jaizkibel, Mythical High of the Basque Country, full of people.

Fighting for bonuses at the top, the two favorites opened a huge gap in a few meters with the rest of the group of favourites. In the pass through the stop, in the middle of the fog, Pogacar imposed his pedal stroke to scratch eight seconds in the general ahead of Vingegaard who won five.

With 16 km to go to finish, Pogacar led the descent ahead of his rival, who did not take over. They did not insist and were quickly caught up by the group from which Lafay was to emerge to win the main victory of his race.

The ‘Grand Bouclé’ will continue this Monday with the dispute of the third stage, of 193.5 kilometers starting in Amorebieta-Etxano and finishing in Bayonne, another day through Spanish territory, which includes four mountain prizes, three third and one fourth category.