Dion Smith took over the polka dot jersey from Kevin Ledanois (Team Fortuneo – Samsic) on yesterday’s second stage of the Tour de France to La Roche-sur-Yon and in doing so, became the first rider to wear a Tour de France leader’s jersey for the Wanty-Groupe Gobert team.
Smith made it into the day’s break alongside Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) and Michael Gogl (Trek-Segafredo) and the trio gained 1’30 in less than 10 kilometres of racing. Smith took the one point on offer at the categorised climb of the Cote de Pouzauges at the 28-kilometre mark and after the climb, he dropped back with Gogl leaving just Chavanel up front.
The 182.5-kilometre stage was won by World Road Race champion Peter Sagan (Bora – hansgrohe) ahead of Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team) and Arnaud Démare (Groupama – FDJ).
“It was very special to be on the Tour podium,” said Smith. “I think I am the first New Zealander to achieve this, something to be proud of. To represent my country and Wanty-Groupe Gobert here is fantastic. ”
“The plan was to go full for the polka dot jersey today. After conquering the points, I wanted to save power with an eye on the upcoming days. The team time trial is very important for our leader Guillaume Martin. We want to limit the his losses. Tomorrow I will definitely stay in the jersey and over the next days I will do everything I can to preserve it.”