Norway’s Alexander Kristoff won a sprint finish to the first stage of Paris-Nice at Contres on Monday, but the overall lead stayed with Polish world champion Michal Kwiatkowski.
Kristoff held off French duo Nacer Bouhanni and Bryan Coquard at the climax to a 196.5 kilometres stage from Maurepas to the west of Paris.
The day was marked by a breakaway by two other Frenchmen – Thomas Voeckler and Anthony Delaplace – after 40 kilometres.
At one stage they were six minutes clear, but gradually the peloton whittled this away and they were eventually reeled in with 1.5 kilometres to go.
Tuesday’s action also involves a flat terrain leading from the ZooParc at Beauval to Saint-Amand-Montrond in central France, a stage of 172 kilometres.
Result of the first stage in the Paris-Nice race on Monday, the 196.km from Saint-Remy-les-Chevreuse to Contres:
1. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) 5hr 15min 18sec
2. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/COF) same time
3. Bryan Coquard (FRA/EUC)
4. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/IAM)
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA/TRE)
6. José Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV)
7. Moreno Hofland (NED/LNL)
8. Niccolo Bonifazio (ITA/LAM)
9. Ben Swift (GBR/SKY)
10. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI)
11. Borut Bozic (SLO/AST)
12. Silvan Dillier (SUI/BMC)
13. Arnaud Démare (FRA/FDJ)
14. Jonas Van Genechten (BEL/IAM)
15. John Degenkolb (GER/GIA)
17. Michael Morkov (DEN/TIN)
18. Matti Breschel (DEN/TIN)
19. Andre Greipel (GER/LOT)
20. Yauheni Hutarovich (BLR/BSE)
21. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/ETI) all same time
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/ETI) 5hr 22min 58sec, 2. Rohan Dennis (AUS/BMC) same time, 3. Tony Martin (GER/ETI) at 7sec, 4. John Degenkolb (GER/GIA) 9sec, 5. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/AST) 10sec, 6. Lars Boom (NED/AST) 10, 7. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) 10, 8. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/IAM) 10, 9. Tom Dumoulin (NED/GIA) 13, 10. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 13, 11. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 14, 12. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) 15, 13. Richie Porte (AUS/SKY) 15, 14. Wilco Kelderman (NED/LNL) 16, 15. Jack Bauer (NZL/CAN) 16, 16. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) 16, 17. Ruben Plaza (ESP/LAM) 16, 18. Sebastian Langeveld (NED/CAN) 17, 19. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/BMC) 17, 20. Gorka Izagirre (ESP/MOV) 18
– Agence France-Presse