ProTeam Tim Wellens powers to stage win and leader’s jersey at Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var

The Lotto Soudal rider took over the lead from teammate Caleb Ewan with one day to go.
Race 19 February 2022

After Caleb Ewan won the opening stage yesterday, his Lotto Soudal teammate Tim Wellens now took the victory on stage two of the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var. The 30-year-old Belgian had to dig deep to catch Nairo Quintana – who launched a solo attack at the foot of the Col d’Eze – in the closing kilometres. Eventually, Tim Wellens joined the Colombian at less than three kilometres from the finish. In a two-man sprint, Wellens proved to be the fastest and powered to the stage win and leader’s jersey, which he takes over from his teammate Caleb Ewan with one stage to go.

With the yellow jersey around his shoulders, Caleb Ewan started stage two of the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var, which saw the peloton tackle plenty of climbs in the hinterland of Nice. Lotto Soudal controlled the race perfectly, as it exploded at around 30 kilometres from the finish on the Col de Châteauneuf de Contes. After that, the riders raced to the foot of the Col d’Eze in a furious pace. It was Caleb Ewan amongst others, who guided Tim Wellens excellently to the start of the famous climb, with the summit only a few kilometres from the finish in La Turbie. Shortly after the bunch hit the first steep slopes, Quintana launched a powerful attack. Tim Wellens paced his effort and limited his losses to around fifteen seconds. With about seven kilometres to go, the Belgian shook off Guillaume Martin and went looking for Quintana. In the flatter final kilometres, a man-to-man battle saw Wellens take the advantage. In the closing kilometres, Wellens joined Quintana and beat the Colombian in a two-man sprint to take his second victory of the season.

“It was definitely not an easy stage but just like yesterday I felt really good and with the way the team worked tirelessly, it was just a joy to race like this. They brought me towards the foot of the Col d’Eze just perfectly”, begins Tim Wellens“I started the climb in ideal position but when Quintana launched his attack, I didn’t have an immediate answer. I realised he went a little too fast so I needed to pace my effort and I could eventually make up ground a bit later. To be honest, I was struggling on the plateau just after the summit but when I finally caught Quintana, I think that I broke his morale a bit. I knew the finish all too well because I live just a couple of kilometres away in Monaco.”

Tim Wellens and his teammates will do everything in their power to secure the GC lead but it won’t be an easy task with plenty of climbing kilometres still to tackle.

“Of course we are going full for the overall win but tomorrow’s longer climbs are not in my favour. I expect that Arkéa Samsic will go full and try to make it as hard as possible for us. In theory it’s quite simple: I just need to follow Quintana’s wheel. However, I will do everything I can to take home the overall win.”


Image: Photo News.

In this article

18 Feb 20 Feb
  1. Nairo Quintana Vlag Colombia 10H 56' 01" Team Arkéa Samsic
  2. Tim Wellens Vlag Belgium 10H 57' 31" Lotto Soudal
  3. Guillaume Martin Vlag France 10H 57' 50" Cofidis
  4. Andreas Kron Vlag Denmark 10H 59' 53" Lotto Soudal
  5. Harry Sweeny Vlag Australia 11H 20' 37" Lotto Soudal