The Frenchman won the 171km stage, leaving Katusha-Alpecin’s Alexander Kristoff and Cofidis, Solutions Credits’ Nacer Bouhanni to take second and third respectively.
Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko set out by himself with 30km still to go and was able to hold onto his lead until the flat and fast 5km stretch to the finish. He was caught in the final three kilometres, and finished outside the top ten.
Part of the group that quickly claimed the front positions, Demare hugged Ben Swift’s wheel before jumping ahead and successfully creating a winning gap.
“I had a difficult moment on the climb but the team waited for me and they helped me through it,” said Demare.
“I knew this finale would suit me very well. But I needed to be in the front group, and it’s thanks to my team that I made it.”
Stage one winner De Gendt finished in the peloton to retain the yellow jersey ahead of the third stage.
Stage two results
|1.||Arnaud Demare - FDJ||4:13:53|
|2.||Alexander Kristoff - Katusha-Alpecin||"|
|3.||Nacer Bouhanni - Cofidis, Solutions Credits||"|
|4.||Sonny Colbrelli - Bahrain-Merida||"|
|5.||Phil Bauhaus - Team Sunweb||"|
|6.||Edvald Boasson Hagen - Dimension Data||"|
|7.||Ben Swift - UAE Team Emirates||"|
|8.||Pascal Ackermann - Bora-Hansgrohe||"|
|9.||Alberto Bettiol - Cannondale-Drapac||"|
|10.||Bryan Coquard - Direct Energie||"|
|1.||Thomas De Gendt - Lotto Soudal||8:30:47|
|2.||Axel Domont - AG2R La Mondiale||+48"|
|3.||Diego Ulissi - UAE Team Emirates||+1:03'|
|4.||Pierre Roger Latour - AG2R La Mondiale||+1:07'|
|5.||Emanuel Buchmann - Bora-Hansgrohe||+1:09'|
|6.||Sonny Colbrelli - Bahrain-Merida||+1:09'|
|7.||Ben Swift - UAE Team Emirates||+1:09'|
|8.||Alberto Bettiol - Cannondale-Drapac||+1:09'|
|9.||Tony Gallopin - Lotto Soudal||+1:09'|
|10.||Julien Simon - Cofidis, Solutions Credits||+1:09'|