Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal-QuickStep) defeated stage one winner Søren Wærenskjold (Uno-X) to win stage two of the Tour of Denmark. The European champion endured a difficult Tour de France after a sprint crash on stage four but showed he’s back at his best in Silkeborg after surviving a late climb on the finish leg. It was Jakobsen’s 44th career win and his first since a stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour in June.
Wærenskjold took the lead through an Uno-X teammate and finished second to add another six bonus seconds to the ten he secured for his stage one win. Søren Kragh Andersen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) was third, Tobias Lund Andresen (Team dsm-firmenich) fourth and Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) was only fifth after a clash with Kragh Andersen’s leader.
Wærenskjold now leads Jakobsen by six seconds in the overall standings, Pedersen is now 18 seconds. Thursday’s 209 km run ends in Vejle after a tumultuous finale in the hilliest part of Denmark. Before the decisive 16.1 km individual time trial on Saturday, every bonus second will be crucial.
Six riders forced the sprinter teams to work hard for their chances of success on the 163.6 km stage from Kjellerup to Silkeborg. Mark Stewart (Bolton Equities Black Spoke), Henrik Pedersen (Team ColoQuick), Tobias Aagaard Hansen (Leopard TOGT), Daniel Stampe (Restaurant Suri – Carl Ras), Frederik Irgens Jensen (BHS-PL Beton Bornholm) and Julius Johansen (Intermarché- Circus-Wanty) escaped after a fast 20K race and temporarily extended his lead to three minutes.
The riders of the assault shared the King of the Mountains points on the three short but steep climbs and the three intermediate sprints scattered along the stage route. Uno-X, Team dsm-firmenich and even Tudor did their job at the front of the peloton, with the sprinters happy to let the breakaways hang at the front until the three short finish laps around Silkeborg.
The gap narrowed to 40 seconds when the breakaways crossed the finish area for the first time with 15.9km to go. Stewart tried to do it on his own, but with nine kilometers to go the breakaway was caught on the short climb of the circuit. Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) tried to shake up the peloton with an attack on the climb on the penultimate lap but was heavily tagged and kept under control.
With four kilometers to go, the peloton was lined up on the final climb, but the downhill lead finish made for a fast finale and a high-speed sprint. Jakobsen’s usual leader, Michael Mørkøv, wasn’t at his best, but fellow Dane Casper Pedersen stepped up to lead him to the finish. Jakobsen started his sprint in the middle of the street and nobody could match his speed, giving him time to celebrate with his arms raised.