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Alexander Kristoff continues his victories in the sprint at the 1st stage of Paris-Nice 2015

Added: monday 09 March 2015 at 17:57:00
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    Alexander Kristoff continues his victories in the sprint at the 1st stage of Paris-Nice 2015Today's stage started with a solo breakaway by Jonathan Hivert (Bretagne-Séché Environnement), which allowed him to take the polka dot jersey of the climbers classification on the first short climb at the very start of the stage. A new breakaway was then set up as a duo with Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) and Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) and just before the finish this leading duo was taken back by the peloton and the stage thus ended, as expected, in a sprint.

    Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha), who already won 4 times in the Tour of Oman and the Tour of Qatar early this season, again showed he's the strongest, beating Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Bryan Coquard (Europcar) easily on the finish line in Contres.

    The summary of the 1st stage of Paris-Nice 2015: Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse > Contres

    A stage of 196.5 kilometers between Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse and Contres was awaiting the riders who participate in Paris-Nice 2015 as the first stage after the prologue in Maurepas, which was won by Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) yesterday.

    The riders reached the km 0 of the race at 11.08AM and 159 riders got off for the 1st stage since Geoffrey Soupe (Cofidis), who was already riding very slowly in the climb of the prologue in Maurepas, didn't start this first stage of Paris-Nice 2015.

    Jonathan HivertWithout really having time to warm up for it, the riders immediately attacked the first official climb of this Paris-Nice 2015, the Côte de Bel Air, but 1.2 kilometers at 5% really didn't scare off Jonathan Hivert (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) who took off alone and took the first points of the King of the Mountains classification. Since this was the only difficulty in today's stage, the rider from Chambray-lès-Tours ended the day on the podium where he got the polka dot jersey of the King of the Mountains classification.

    Hivert's gap almost reached 4 minutes when Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) tried to counter-attack but the Belgian rider was quickly taken back by the peloton. At the sprint Hivert's gap was down to 3'15" when he took the points for the points classification, ahead of Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) and John Degenkolb (Team Giant-Alpecin) leading the peloton at that time.

    Anthony Delaplace and Thomas VoecklerAfter 33 km in the race, Jonathan Hivert gave up his attempt and his adventure in the lead of the race thus came to an end, but rapidly after the Bretagne-Séché Environnement rider was taken back it was his team mate, Anthony Delaplace's turn to go off, together with Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar).
    This new leading duo rapidly created quite a gap, up to 6 minutes after about one hundred kilometers in the race. The peloton didn't really show any will to do any big efforts to take back this leading duo and the average speeds thus remained quite low, 34.4 km/h after two hours of racing.

    While approaching the finish line, the peloton accellerated however and the gap thus got under one minute at 35 kilometers from the finish line. It thus all seemed to be ready for Voeckler and Delaplace to be taken back by the peloton which would then easily prepare a bunch sprint, but the leading duo found some forces and courage to increase the gap once again.

    At about twenty kilometers from the finish, a crash in the peloton made this Paris-Nice come to an end for Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) who was evacuated to the hospital in Blois where it was first thought that he broke his left collarbone, which risked to put his season to a hold for a few weeks, but it finally turned out to "only" be a dislocation of his left elbow ...

    Alexander KristoffAt 5 kilometers from the finish, the leading duo still has a 35 seconds gap on the peloton and it was only while approaching the last kilometer that the peloton could really believe in a bunch sprint for this stage. While John Degenkolb and Nacer Bouhanni seemed to be the sprinters who would battle for victory, Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha) finally did a big accelleration, which allowed him to win this stage easily ahead of Nacer Bouhanni.

    Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) keeps the lead in the general classification but also in the points classification and in the best young riders classification. The Polish rider will thus still be in yellow on the roads of the 2nd stage of Paris-Nice 2015 between the ZooParc de Beauval (Saint-Aignan) and Saint-Amand-Montrond (172 km).

    The classifications of Paris-Nice 2015 after the 1st stage

    Here are the classifications of this Paris-Nice 2015 after the first stage between Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse and Contres:

    The stage classification

    Alexander KristoffHere's the top 5 of this stage:

    1/ Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha) - 5h15'18"
    2/ Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis, solutions crédits)
    3/ Bryan Coquard (Team Europcar)
    4/ Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling)
    5/ Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing)

    General classification

    Michal KwiatkowskiIn the general classification we thus still find Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) in the lead, in the same second as Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team), just like in the best young riders classification.

    1/ Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) - 5h22'58"
    2/ Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team)
    3/ Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) - +0'07"
    4/ John Degenkolb (Team Giant-Alpecin) - +0'09"
    5/ Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro team) - +0'10"

    Points classification

    Michal KwiatkowskiFor the green jersey, Michal Kwiatkowski also keeps the lead in the points classification, with the same number of points as Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha) who could take the lead in this classification in tomorrow's stage:

    1/ Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) - 15 points
    2/ Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha) - 15 points
    3/ Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) - 12 points
    4/ Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis, solutions crédits) - 12 points
    5/ Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) - 9 points

    King of the Mountains classification

    The first points for the King of the Mountains classification were up for grabs in the only small climb of the day. Since Jonathan Hivert (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) was in a solo breakaway right from the start of the stage, he was able to take the first points and thus the polka dot jersey of this classification:

    1/ Jonathan Hivert (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) - 4 points
    2/ Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) - 2 points
    3/ Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) - 1 point

    The photos of the first stage of Paris-Nice 2015 between Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse and Contres

    Several photos have been published all day long:

    >> check out the photos of the 1st stage of Paris-Nice between Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse and Contres

    Video summary of the stage

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Paris-Nice| Paris-Nice 2015 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati

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