Tim Merlier has taken a second stage victory in the AlUla Tour. Yesterday’s stage winner launched his sprint from afar, but seemed to reach the ceiling. Bryan Coquard made an ultimate jump and stuck his finger in the air, but the Frenchman was not the fastest guy.
Dylan Groenewegen got off sick and after a fall 6.5 kilometers from the finish, Arvid de Kleijn and Sebastián Molano were also eliminated for the 4th sprinter’s chance in 4 days.
Tim Merlier navigated between the skirmishes and sat on the wheel of the impressive DSM train after a stressful day.
But before leader Casper van Uden could open, Merlier had already shot away like a rocket.
In his red points jersey he opened up a gap, but Merlier was clearly desperate for the finish after a sprint of about 300 meters.
Bryan Coquard did not give in, came next to Merlier and seemed to go over with a jump just in time.
The Frenchman thought so too, because he raised his finger and claimed victory. The photo finish whistled him back.
Merlier heads into the final day as leader, but the finish on Saturday is a match for the climbers.
Tim Merlier stated that he saw no other option than to enter so early. “I was already in the wind. If I had stayed seated, a stage win would have been out of the question. And if you don’t try, you will never win,” he laughed sweetly.
“I launched my sprint from far away, because I know I have something like that in my legs. I can handle such an effort.”
“Bryan (Coquard) said he won, but I’m still happy to be here as the winner again.”