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Paris-Nice 2013: Marcel Kittel full gas in the straight line in Cérilly

Added: tuesday 05 March 2013 at 19:31:00
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    Paris-Nice 2013: Marcel Kittel full gas in the straight line in CérillyFor the second stage of Paris-Nice 2013, we again expected a bunch sprint at the finish, on a long straight line of no less than 4 kilometers towards the white line drawn on the road in Cérilly.

    The rider who wore the yellow jersey, the French Champion Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ), could no longer dispute this sprint however since he crashed badly at a little bit under 60 kilometers from the finish and was taken to the hospital.

    The peloton came full speed to the finish line and it was finally Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) who managed to put his hands in the sky while winning this stage.

    The summary of the 2nd stage of Paris-Nice 2013 - Vimory > Cérilly

    The sky was grey and it was still a bit cold in the small town of Vimory (1,134 inhabitants) when 180 riders took the start this morning. Indeed, after yesterday's abandon of Pierrick Fédrigo (FDJ), Rui Costa (Movistar) and Jure Kocjan, Kevin Seeldrayers of the Astana didn't come to the start this morning.

    At kilometer 1.5 Gatis Smukulis (Katusha) was at the initiative of the first breakaway, together with Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) and Mads Christensen (Team Saxo-Tinkoff). A kilometer further, their gap was already up to 1 minute and at the sprint in Les Choux, when Boeckmans takes the points and the bonification seconds, their gap reaches its maximum at 4'05".

    The first breakawayThe Belgian rider already had enough of the breakaway at that point and a stop for a natural relieve brought him back in the peloton.

    The remaining leading duo kept a steady time difference of around 4 minutes, ahead of a peloton driven by the FDJ team for the rider wearing the yellow jersey, Nacer Bouhanni. Both in the peloton and in the breakaway, the average speed is quite low at that time, with 32.6 kilometers done in the first hour of the race!

    The bunch back togetherApparently Smukulis and Christensen didn't manage to get on together to keep the breakaway alive and at kilometer 44 the whole bunch thus got back together. This peloton didn't feel the need either to go a bit faster and get to Cérilly at the planned time. Indeed, in the second hour of the race, only 26.7 kilometers were added on the bike computers of the riders who make up the peloton of Paris-Nice 2013.

    The second breakaway of the dayUntil kilometer 63 the peloton stayed together on the roads of the Loiret and Cher departments, until Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) decided to attack and started forming the second breakaway of the day and this time it was the right one. His team mate Thomas de Gendt attacked a bit later and rapidly joined his French colleague while behind them Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Maxime Bouet (AG2R La Mondiale) start the chase.

    At kilometer 65 the peloton has a 1'30" delay behind the lead of the race when the 4 guys at the front get together. Their gap reaches its maximum at kilometer 74, at 4'15", and the peloton is again led by two riders of the FDJ team at that time.

    While the gap still is 3'30" at kilometer 117, several riders crashed, including Alexandre Pichot of the Europcar team, who was brought to the hospital of Bourges with a fractured left arm and a big wound on his right leg. The gap dropped as well at that time, to 1'30" and on to 45 seconds at the entrance of Blet.

    The peloton just after BletAt kilometer 143, in Blet, the rider wearing the yellow jersey, Nacer Bouhanni also crashed and he unfortunately had to leave the race, being injured on his upper lip and his left hand.

    The leading four riders see their gap slightly going up at this occasion but at kilometer 156, just after Le Pondy, its adventure comes to an end anyway and a sprint finish thus becomes more and more probable.

    At the first crossing of the finish line in Cérilly, a town with 1,400 inhabitants, Elia Viviani (Cannondale) crossed the line first, ahead of the rider wearing the green jersey, Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and the Italian rider thus becomes the virtual yellow jersey of the race.

    Marcel Kittel takes the win in CérillyThe finish in Cérilly was planned to be between 3.43PM and 4.10PM but a final circuit of 18 kilometers was still waiting for the riders and this circuit again finished with the long final straight of 4 kilometers towards the stage finish. In this never ending straight line, the sprint finish is being prepared, around 5PM, and Marcel Kittel turned out to be the fastest in this sprint and the German rider even had the time to raise his hand to celebrate this victory. At 24 years, Marcel Kittel thus takes his 40th victory, the first one in Paris-Nice.

    Marcel Kittel's comments after his victory

    After this victory, the German sprinter showed his satisfaction by saying that for him this was a revenge on yesterday (when he had a flat tyre in the final part of the stage) when I was extremely disappointed. I'm thus very happy to win this stage.

    I was lacking a bit of confidence since the start of this season, especially after the Tour Down Under. It was really important for me to take a stage win in Paris-Nice, in a UCI WorldTour race, so I was really concentrated on this Paris-Nice.

    I had to wait very long before I could start my sprint. I asked my guys to launch the sprint at 1 kilometer from the finish but that didn't really work out as planned. Finally I started my sprint very late, at about 200 meters from the finish
    .

    Concerning Nacer Bouhanni's forced abandon, Kittel showed his compassion, saying that the French rider showed his classy style yesterday, he does everything for victory and he thus is good competition ... it's really a pity that he had to leave the race in this way and I hope he recovers soon.

    Elia Viviani's comments after having received the yellow jersey

    After having received the yellow jersey as the new leader of the general classification, Elia Viviani (Cannondale) also showed his satisfaction by saying: I'm happy to take this yellow jersey. I didn't take any victories this year but this jersey makes up a bit for that. My main goal today was to get the yellow jersey, and if possible the sprint victory. Therefore, I'm happy with the result.

    I'll try to keep this yellow jersey as long as possible but for now I'm only looking to tomorrow's stage and I'll do all I can to still wear it at the end of tomorrow's stage
    .

    The classifications of Paris-Nice 2013 after the stage 2/ Vimory > Cérilly

    Hereunder you'll find the classifications after this second stage of Paris-Nice 2013 between Vimory and Cérilly:

    Classification of the stage 2/ Vimory > Cérilly

    Here's the top 5 of this 2nd stage of Paris-Nice 2013:

    1/ Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) - 5h42'18"
    2/ Elia Viviani (Cannondale)
    3/ Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEDGE)
    4/ Borut Bozic (Astana)
    5/ Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale)

    General classification

    After the forced abandon of Nacer Bouhanni and mainly thanks to the 9 bonus seconds he took in Cérilly (3 at the first crossing and 6 at the finish since he got the second place in the stage), the young Italian rider Elia Viviani of the Cannondale team climbs up to the first place in the general classification:

    1/ Elia Viviani (Cannondale) - 10h33'11"
    2/ Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) - +0'07"
    3/ Damien Gaudin (Europcar) - +0'08"
    4/ Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) - +0'09"
    5/ Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Merida) - +0'10"

    Points classification

    In the points classification the Italian rider also has the first place:

    1/ Elia Viviani (Cannondale) - 55 points
    2/ Borut Bozic (Astana) - 43 points
    3/ Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) - 38 points
    4/ Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEDGE) - 33 points
    5/ Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Merida) - 31 points

    Best young rider classification

    And since there's never two without three, Elia Viviani also takes the lead in the best young riders classification:

    1/ Elia Viviani (Cannondale) - 10h33'11"
    2/ Wilco Kelderman (Blanco Pro Cycling Team) - +0'10"
    3/ Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ)
    4/ Tony Gallopin (Radioshack-Leopard) - +0'11"
    5/ Jesus Herrada Lopez (Movistar Team) - +0'13"

    The photos of the 2nd stage of Paris-Nice 2013: Vimory > Cérilly

    The photos of this stage have been published in the dedicated photo section:

    >> The 53 photos of the 2nd stage of Paris-Nice 2013 - Vimory > Cérilly

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Paris-Nice| Paris-Nice 2013 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati

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