Kopecky retains yellow jersey after second-place finish behind Lippert
Belgian Lotte Kopecky will continue to ride in yellow as the women's Tour de France leader on Tuesday. At the end of a tricky second stage on Monday, she sprinted to second place behind German stage winner Liane Lippert despite a punctured rear tyre.
With six categorised climbs on a 151-km course, the second stage of the Tour de France Femmes, between Clermont-Ferrand and Mauriac, proved too tough for pure sprinters. The route, however, seemed tailor-made for race leader Kopecky, who had not made defending her lead a priority.
The tricky course and several crashes due to the wet, treacherous surface caused the peloton to thin out considerably. Kopecky herself was on the verge of breaking on the final climb of the day, but survived to join the sprint in the final kilometres.
Classification rider Demi Vollering tried to steer Kopecky to victory, but the Belgian ended second after a tricky sprint - which she finished with a punctured rear tyre. 25-year-old Lippert, the reigning German champion, sprinted to her biggest win of the season, well ahead of Kopecky and Italian Silvia Persico.
In the overall standings, Kopecky is now 49 seconds ahead of her nearest rival, Lippert. Seven other riders are 0'59" behind.
Lotte Kopecky © PHOTO JEFF PACHOUD / AFP