This afternoon, the first stage of Paris-Nice 2012 took place as an individual time trial between Dampierre-en-Yvelines and Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse. The Swedish champion of this discipline, Gustav Larsson, turned out to be the fastest on the 9.4 km long circuit.
The summary of the first stage of Paris-Nice 2012
Under a grey sky, Alexandre Geniez of the Project 1t4i team was the first to start ahead of the castle in Dampierre-en-Yvelines, on his way to the Côte des 17 Tournants which was on the race route just after the start.
Though the rain was threatening all day long, it only really started to rain at the start of the 10 last riders. Luis Léon Sanchez (Movistar Team) was the first rider to start under the rain. Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), the last winner of Paris-Nice and World Champion time trialling was disturbed by the rain but most probably also by the difficult climb at the start of the race, and finished this stage at the 28th position at 25 seconds.
Gustav Larsson, Swedish time trial champion and winner of the Tour du Limousin 2010 after the time trial in Saint-Amand-Montrond, did his solo effort on dry roads and arrived in front of the train station of Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse with the best time: 11'19", with an average speed of 49.84 km/h.
On top of the Côte des 17 Tournants, the organisor of the race had decided to award the first points for the King of the Mountains classification, putting it up as a 3rd category climb. The best time on top of the climb was for the Belgian rider Thomas de Gendt who rides for the same team as the winner of the stage.
The best French rider in this first stage was Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), who ended 6th at 12 seconds behind the winner. The best young rider in this stage was the American Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) who ended 9 seconds behind Larsson.
The classifications of Paris-Nice 2012 after the first stage
Stage classification, classification by points and general classification
The top 10 of the stage classification is as follows:
1/ Gustav Larsson (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) - 11'19" / 25 points
2/ Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) - +0'01" / 22 points
3/ Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) - +0'04" / 20 points
4/ Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) - +0'09" / 18 points
5/ Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) - +0'12" / 16 points
6/ Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
7/ Rein Taaramae (Cofidis, le crédit en ligne) - +0'13"
8/ Markel Irizar (Radioshack-Nissan)
9/ Rémi Pauriol (FDJ BigMat) - +0'15"
10/ Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun)
King of the Mountain classification3 riders got their first points for the King of the Mountain classification on top of the Côte des 17 Tournants:
1/ Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) - 4 points
2/ Bart de Clercq (Lotto-Belisol) - 2 points
3/ Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) - 1 point
During the upcoming week, you'll be able to find on velowire.com some photos of the race (today, Monday, Tuesday and Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and some articles.by Thomas Vergouwen
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