Jasper Philipsen offered himself his first bouquet of the year: the Belgian sprinter from the Alpecin team easily outclassed the competition in the 2nd stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, Tuesday in Follonica (Italy).

Philipsen, 26, signed his third stage victory in the “Course des deux mers”, ahead of his compatriot Tim Merlier and the Frenchman Axel Zingle. The winner of the 2023 Tour de France points classification dominated Merlier, who left far too early in the final.

“The team did a good job putting me in a very good position, just before the turn with 350m to go. I knew that Merlier was going to be dangerous, I placed myself in his wheel and I was able to overtake him,” rejoiced Philipsen. “I can still improve in terms of my fitness level,” he warned.

“I left a little too early and I lost speed, noted Merlier, but I feel that the form is there.” Eritrean Biniam Girmay crossed the finish line in third position, but was downgraded for pushing Zingle against the barriers. The Frenchman from Cofidis recovered 3rd place.

In the general classification, the Spaniard Juan Ayuso (UAE), winner of the inaugural time trial on Monday, remains in the lead with one second ahead of the Italian Filippo Ganna. Big favorite of the event, the Dane Jonas Vingegaard had a quiet day and crossed the finish line in the peloton (40th). The double winner of the Tour de France remains 9th overall, 22 seconds behind Ayuso.

On Wednesday, the 3rd stage, 225 km long between Volterra and Gualdo Tadino, will be marked by an ascent without great difficulty a few kilometers from the finish.