Van der Poel lives up to the hype with sublime stage win

Mathieu van der Poel wins stage two of the 2021 Tour de France

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Usually such a cool customer, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) was almost speechless with emotion in the post-race interview upon winning the stage and becoming the new overall leader of the race.  It was a stunning victory, rendered even more extraordinary by the fact that he had achieved on just his second ever day at the Tour what his grandfather, Raymond Poulidor, had famously spent a career trying but never quite managing to do — wear the yellow jersey. 

Van der Poel being Van der Poel, he didn’t do it the straightforward way. Rather than simply wait and preserve all of his energy for the finish, he chose to launch an attack over the first ascent at Mûr-de-Bretagne, stretching out a significant advantage before being caught again by the peloton.