The win by Groves came one day after Michael Matthews won the opening stage. The Aussie duo made it a dream start for the team as Matthews led out the young sprinter to win Stage 2 in Perpignan.
The two survived a tough day in the crosswinds, and Groves made it count by the winning sprint on his Giant Propel Advanced SL Disc team bike with a CADEX 65 WheelSystem.
“I’ve waited a long time for this, and it feels pretty amazing,” Groves said after the finish. “I liked this stage and I picked this stage out to get the victory. I can’t believe I’ve got it.”
Groves was the fastest finisher from a select group of about 30 riders that remained at the front for the finale. It was a day of attrition as the peloton split into echelons during the 202km battle from L’Escala to Perpignan, the capital of French Catalunya on the Mediterranean coast.
"It was a pretty stressful day actually, and I think after yesterday everyone sort of knew we had quite a strong team here, especially for the crosswind sections," Matthews said. "We were riding at the front, but everyone was coming up and fighting all day. I think it was a more difficult day than we expected."
Finishing in the front group, Matthews ended the day second overall, 1 second behind new race leader Jonas Iversby Hvideberg of Norway. Stage 3 takes riders into the Pyrenees, with three Category 1 climbs expected to shake up the general classification standings.