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Team Sunweb’s Michael Matthews was the best placed Australian for the second day in a row as he led home the Australasian contingent of riders, scoring an impressive 9th place in a star studded final sprint for the line in Liege.
It was the big German, Marcel Kittle (Quick-Step Flooring) who lead home the bunch in an emotional victory just edging out Frenchman Arnaud Demare (FD) and fellow countryman Andre Greiple (Lotto Soudal).
The day was marred by a 30 rider pile up just 30 km’s out from the finish when the wet weather again played havoc causing riders to fall as they approached a roundabout.
The Yellow Jersey holder Geraint Thomas and tour favourite Chris Froome (Team Sky) were both caught up in the carnage but where able to remount and re-join the main peloton unscathed.
West Australian Orica-Scott rider Luke Durbridge was forced to withdraw from the second stage due to an injury he received in a high speed crash the previous day, Durbridge was unable to complete the second stage as the injury was just too sore to continue.
Kiwi Quick – Step Flooring rider, Jack Bauer was instrumental in the win for Kittle has he drove the peloton in the final km’s to bring back the two-leading break-away riders and set up Kittle for the final run home.
Another Kiwi Tour debutant, Dion Smith (Wanty – GroupeGobert) was the next Australasian rider to finish, were he placed 17th with Aussie Jay McCarthy (Bora Hansgrohe) back in 26th.
Other stage places –
- Mathew Hayman – Orica – Scott
- Richie Porte – Team BMC
- George Bennett – LottoNI- Jumbo
- Jack Bauer – Quick-Step Flooring
- Simon Clarke – Cannondale Drapac
- Mark Renshaw – Dimensionn Data
- Damien Howson – Orica-Scott
- Patrick Bevin – Cannomdale Drapac
- Adam Hansen @ 1.00 – Lotto Soudal