Gianni Meersman was highly expected as a winner in Oyonnax but he came second for the second day in a row as Elia Viviani overcame the hills in the last 60 kilometres of stage 2. The sprinter from Cannondale used the condition he built at the Giro d'Italia for taking his first victory of the 2013 season. Thanks to the good job of Europcar, David Veilleux kept the yellow jersey.
Four riders in the lead
It was a slightly downhill start from Châtel towards the Leman Lake, so it was complicated for any of the 175 starters to break away from the fast peloton who covered almost fifty kilometers in the first hour of racing. Rudy Molard (COF), Thomas Damuseau (ARG) and Arnaud Gérard (BSE) found the way to escape at km 22. They fought hard for twenty kilometers to stay away from the bunch as many counter attacks were launched, but only one rider made it across: José Mendes (TNE). The Portuguese climber rejoined the leading trio at km 50. The Europcar team of race leader David Veilleux logically took control of the pack and maintained the deficit under five minutes. The maximum time gap was 4.55 at km 104. It decreased in the hills located in the last fifty kilometers of racing.
The Omega Pharma-Quick Step team took over from Europcar at the head of the peloton in the côte de Communal with 40km to go, as green jersey wearer Gianni Meersman was ambitious for the stage victory after missing out on day 1. 30km before reaching Oyonnax, Molard attacked from the leading quartet and courageously stayed away until 15km to go. Cofidis kept the momentum as Rein Taaramäe succeeded his team-mate alone in the lead when he attacked towards the top of the second category col du Sentier with 13km to go. He continued his effort in the downhill but couldn't resist to the charge of the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team.
Bunch sprint finish: Viviani the fastest
With 3km to go, it was all together again for a bunch sprint against the wind. Cannondale entered in action with Kristjan Koren and Maciej Bodnar, as Elia Viviani had survived the climbs. As a pure sprinter developed on the track by racing the omnium, the Italian claimed his first victory of the year while David Veilleux kept the overall lead. The only loser was Tom Jelte Slagter who gave way to Tony Gallopin in the best young rider competition.