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Paris-Nice 2018: Arnaud Démare the best puncher of the sprinters at the finish of the first stage

Added: monday 05 March 2018 at 0:03:00
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    Paris-Nice 2018: Arnaud Démare the best puncher of the sprinters at the finish of the first stage154 riders came to the start of the first stage of Paris-Nice 2018 in Chatou early this afternoon. This first stage took place in the rain and as usual we saw a breakaway being formed but as usual it was vowed to fail in a stage like this. In the final part of the stage, Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale) went off alone and first in the climb towards the finish, but the peloton was too strong behind him and despite the expectations it was a big group of riders which went on to the finish. However, only the strongest managed to get a spot in the head of the peloton and among them the champion of France, Arnaud Démare (FDJ), turned out to be the strongest of all!

    The summary of the first stage of Paris-Nice 2018: Chatou > Meudon

    A small peloton started in this first stage in Chatou this afternoon. Indeed, a reduced peloton because only 7 riders were allowed per team. With 22 teams that thus makes up to 154 riders at the start of this 76th edition of Paris-Nice.

    Jurgen Roelandts, Pierre Rolland & Pierre-Luc Périchon in the breakaway - © ASO/Alex BROADWAYQuite rapidly after the start, 3 riders went off, Jurgen Roelandts (BMC Racing Team), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Pierre Rolland (EF Education First-Drapac powered by Cannondale) and this leading trio spent the day ahead of the race, creating a gap up to over 4 minutes at its maximum.

    At 35 kilometers from the finish, when the peloton just saw the gap go under one minute for the second time, a crash took place in the peloton and the most injured rider seemed to be Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team). The rider who was among the favourites for the race thus had to leave the race to the sun, right from the first stage ...

    The breakaway comes to an end - © ASO/Alex BROADWAYThe peloton finally manages to take back the leading trio at 13.9 kilometers from the finish and everyone battled for a good place ahead, before the final climb in Meudon. From a reduced peloton due to another crash at 3 kilometers from the finish, Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale) got off alone in the final climb, but the peloton was too strong for the solo French rider. In the end, 3 riders seemed to finish almost in the same line on the finish line and the photo finish had to show who was the winner. Pushing his bike ahead at the very last moment, Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) did a good thing, thus offering a stage victory to his team the very first day of its existance with a new name! With Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) with whom he shared the hotel the night before there were only a few millimeters difference!

    The classifications of Paris-Nice 2018 after the first stage

    The stage classification

    Here's the top 5 of today's stage:

    1/ Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) - 3h07'39"
    2/ Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida)
    3/ Christophe Laporte (Cofidis, solutions crédits)
    4/ Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)
    5/ Mike Teunissen (Team Sunweb)

    The general classification

    Arnaud Démare wearing the yellow jersey - © ASO/Alex BROADWAYThe general classification presents the same top 5, with only a few differences to the bonification seconds:

    1/ Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) - 3h07'29"
    2/ Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) - +0'04"
    3/ Christophe Laporte (Cofidis, solutions crédits) - +0'06"
    4/ Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) - +0'10"
    5/ Mike Teunissen (Team Sunweb)

    Points classification

    Arnaud Démare wearing the green jersey - © ASO/Alex BROADWAYIn the points classification we have pretty much the same riders in the top 5, but Mike Teunissen's place was taken by Jurgen Roelandts (BMC Racing Team) who took some points in the intermediate sprints of the stage in the breakaway:

    1/ Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) - 15 points
    2/ Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) - 12 points
    3/ Christophe Laporte (Cofidis, solutions crédits) - 9 points
    4/ Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) - 7 points
    5/ Jurgen Roelandts (BMC Racing Team) - 6 points

    King of the mountains classification

    Pierre-Luc Périchon wearing the polka dot jersey - © ASO/Alex BROADWAYPierre-Luc Périchon (Team Fortuneo-Sansic) took the points for this classification arriving first on top of the two climbs during the stage:

    1/ Pierre-Luc Périchon (Team Fortuneo-Samsic) - 8 points
    2/ Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) - 4 points
    3/ Pierre Rolland (Team EF Education First-Drapac powered by Cannondale)
    4/ Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) - 2 points
    5/ Jurgen Roelandts (BMC Racing Team)

    The video summary of the first stage of Paris-Nice 2018 - Chatou > Meudon

    And tomorrow?

    The second stage tomorrow will start in Orsonville and finish in Vierzon, turning around Orléans, without any climbs. Most logically this stage should end in a bunch sprint.

    >> The race route of the 2nd stage of Paris-Nice 2018 in detail on Google Maps

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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