Paris-Nice 2: A Day For Fast Wheels

A break is away: 68 km to go Grmay, Brandle, Delaplace and Siskevicius have 3'20 on the peloton who started chasing.
Côte d'Estivareilles, and the gap keeps going down. Narrow roads adavtage the break-away but 20 km to go the gap is just 40'. Grmay is the first rider to be droppedBrandle, Delaplace and Siskevicius keep going.
12 km to go the break is caught. Teams fight for positions approaching a bunch sprint finish.
6 km to go a rider went straight into a spectator. Both look bad!
The race flies toward the line. Bunch sprint. Bouhanni and Matthews fight shoulder to shoulder. Not sure what happens: it seems that Bouhanni almost crashed on Matthews because of his front wheel. Or did he delibarately impede him?
For sure 3rd is Trek's Bonifazio.
Finally it's confirmed: the Jury decides to relegate Bouhanni. 
Matthews is the stage winner and Bonifazio 2nd. 
Bling also keeps the Yellow Jersey and adds the Green one. The Polka Dot Jersey remains on the shoulder of Jon Izaguirre.

Michael Matthews:
"He (Bouhanni) changed his line a little bit in the sprint. When you've opened up your sprint after a hard stage like that it's hard to sprint in a straight line. I think I probably would have come past him in the sprint, but it's racing. It's unfortunate it needs to be like that but it is what it is. As you could see I had a lot of speed when I was coming past, so it would have been a win either way. It's definitely amazing to get another stage win - that's two out of three now. It was an uphill sprint so it suited me a lot better than yesterday."

Wouter Wippert:
"8th in todays stage at @ParisNice with a special thanks to @Mattibreschel to look after me in the last 25km #teamwork #longday #cannondale".

Marcel Kittel:
"It was a long day, which became crazy in the final 40 kilometers. The final was difficult and it was pretty hard to stay in the right position. We tried to come to the front, as that was the plan, but we couldn't move up anymore in the last 5 kilometers. I am a bit disappointed, also because I didn't feel good today, but that's cycling: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Despite this, I remain upbeat, because there's one more chance for sprinters on Thursday."

Niccolo Bonifazio:
"The final was really hard it was up and down all the time, and there were a lot of turns. The team worked really hard for me, and I could go into the last corner in third position. Then, of course, I tried to win the stage, and I came close finishing third behind Matthews and [Nacer] Bouhanni. I was moved to second when Bouhanni was relegated. I like these longer stages because I can handle the distance very well, and still arrive at the finish fresh to do a good sprint."

Edward Theuns:
"I came with 700 meters to go, from the back, and I screamed at Niccolo to follow me. I was first into the last corner, and then I tried to keep the tempo as high as possible, and I think he was in 3rd position before I pulled off."

Richie Porte:

“It was a bit less stressful today than it was yesterday. The guys really got around me today and we rode really well as a team. It was such a long day out there and nothing interesting really happened until 60km to go when the peloton started working harder to bring the break back. It was a tricky finish but the the guys kept me out of harms way. Tomorrow’s stage is quite hard and from the sounds of it, the weather isn’t the best either, so it should be another typical Paris-Nice stage. But we’ll be another day closer to sunny Nice so that’s a good thing.”

Alberto Contador:
"Dia de frio y tension salvado,mañana final en alto!Cold and tension day saved,tomorrow up-hill finish!#ParisNice" 


1 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 5:04:26
2 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
3 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
4 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 0:00:01
5 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
6 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
7 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 8 Wouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale Pro Cycling
9 Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie
10 Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
1 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 9:41:46
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:14
3 Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:19
4 Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar Team 5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
6 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team 0:00:24
7 Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling 0:00:25
8 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
9 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 0:00:27
10 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team
11 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:28
12 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:30
13 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:31
14 Gorka Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar Team
15 Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team
16 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:00:33
17 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
18 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team
19 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:37
20 Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ
21 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:38
22 Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie 0:00:40
23 Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling
24 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team
25 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:00:41
26 Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:42
27 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
28 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:00:43
29 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha
30 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx - Quick-Step

No comments: