Germany’s Andre Greipel won a sprint finish to the second stage of Paris-Nice on Tuesday with Polish world champion Michal Kwiatkowski holding onto the leader’s yellow jersey.
In what was a largely straight-forward 172-kilometre run down from the ZooParc at Beauval near Paris, the only breakaway bid came from Frenchman Arnaud Gerard.
He kept the lead for 134 kilometres, but was easily reeled in by the peloton setting up the sprint finish.
Greipel dominated that to take the win ahead of Frenchman Arnaud Demare, with another German cyclist John Degenkolb taking third place ahead of Michael Matthews of Australia.
“Paris-Nice is a big race and it usually has quite a few top sprinters,” Greipel said. “I hadn’t competed in it for several years, so I am delighted.
“I was feeling sick for a few days but made a quick recovery because I was already doing well in the Tour of the Algarve (February).”
Kwiatkowski said that he had been surprised there had not been more attacks in the race so far but was delighted to be able to hold onto the lead.
The Race to the Sun continues on Wednesday with a 179 kilometre stage from Saint-Amand-Montrond to Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule.
Results on Tuesday in the second stage of the Paris-Nice cycle race:-
1. Andre Greipel (GER/Lotto), 172 km in 4:30:18, 2. Arnaud Demare (FRA/FDJ) same time, 3. John Degenkolb (GER/GIA) same time. 4. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) same time, 5. Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV) same time, 6. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/COF) same time, 7. Moreno Hofland (NED/LNL) same time, 8. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) same time, 9. Jonas Van Genechten (BEL/IAM) same time, 10. Niccolo Bonifazio (ITA/LAM) same time
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/ETI) 9hr 53min 16sec, 2. Rohan Dennis (AUS/BMC) same time, 3. John Degenkolb (GER/GIA) at 02sec, 4. Tony Martin (GER/ETI) 0:07, 5. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) 0:09, 6. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/AST) 0:10, 7. Lars Boom (NED/AST) 0:10, 8. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/IAM) 0:10, 9. Tom Dumoulin (NED/GIA) 0:13, 10. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 0:13, 11. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) 0:14, 12. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 0:14, 13. Richie Porte (AUS/SKY) 0:15
– Agence France-Presse