Stage 2: Vitoria-Gasteiz to Saint-Sébastien – 209 km
Date: Sunday July 2, 2023
Stage type: Hilly
What to watch for: San Sebastian often comes down to a small group sprint and that’s the likely outcome of this stage, too.
Stage 2 summary: This stage finishes 500 meters lower than it starts, but don’t let that fool you.
The decisive climb from many years of Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa, a post-Tour one-day race in the region, is placed 20 km from the finish of stage 2. The slopes of the Jaizkibel, 8 km long and averaging 5.1%, with a final 4 km at 7%, have decided many editions of that race.
The descent down the backside and into the finish could prove just as decisive in stage 2 of the Tour de France. But expect a larger group at the finish line than we saw for stage 1. Unlike stage 1, there are bonus seconds available at the top of the final climb. The GC men will want them.
Dane Cash’s picks: The last few kilometers of the Jaizkibel are pretty steep, which could make it a launching pad for a big attack, and seems likely that the same riders who looked good on stage 1 could be involved if that happens. That said, the extremely versatile Wout van Aert, who didn’t factor in the stage 2 battle but was there in the main chasing group, seems like a clearer favorite. A reduced sprint seems a likely outcome here, and he’s obviously a rider to watch in those situations. There’s also Mathieu van der Poel, Magnus Cort, Biniam Girmay, Julian Alaphilippe, and obviously Tadej Pogačar and past San Sebastián winner Adam Yates.
What did you think of this story?