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Arnaud Démare (FDJ) wins the sprint for the first stage of Paris-Nice 2016

Added: monday 07 March 2016 at 18:39:00
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    Arnaud Démare (FDJ) wins the sprint for the first stage of Paris-Nice 2016The first stage of Paris-Nice 2016 offered 198 kilometers of racing between Condé-sur-Vesgre and Vendôme, with a final circuit which the riders had to do twice and which contained two sand roads of which one going uphill. Finally, these sand roads didn't really influence the result of the stage, which ended in a bunch sprint. This sprint was won by the French rider Arnaud Démare (FDJ) ahead of Ben Swift (Team Sky) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).

    The summary of the first stage of Paris-Nice 2016: Condé-sur-Vesgre > Vendôme

    At the start in Condé-sur-Vesgre this morning, the 175 riders of the Paris-Nice 2016 peloton respected one minute of silence in honour of Romain Guyot (Vendée U) who lost his life in a road accident during his training.

    The breakaway with Perrig Quemeneur, Steven Tronet, Thomas de Gendt and Thierry HupondAt 11.54AM the peloton reached the kilometer 0 of this first stage towards Vendôme. Right from the first kilometer of the race, 4 riders got away from the peloton and thus formed the day's breakaway. These riders were Perrig Quemeneur (Direct Energie), Steven Tronet (Fortuneo-Vital Concept), Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Thierry Hupond (Delko Marseille Provence-KTM) and these 4 leading riders quickly created a quite important gap, reaching its maximum of 10'25" at kilometer 24.5, before it stabilised around 9 minutes.

    The breakaway in the snowDuring their breakaway they've braved some rain, cold and even snow and until the toilet break of two of the riders the breakaway started losing time on the peloton while there were still about 80 kilometers to go.

    Thomas de Gendt & Thierry HupondAt kilometer 150 Team Sky took over the control of the peloton and really started chasing the breakaway. The accelleration in front of the peloton was fatal for some riders who got stuck in chasing groups. At the entrance of the first sand road, the breakaway was about to get caught and only Thomas de Gendt and Thierry Hupond resisted, until just after the end of this first sand road!

    In the climb of the second sand road it was up to Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) to break away but at 9 kilometers from the finish the French rider was taken back. A wheel puncture for Sylvain Chavanel just after the forelast sand road prevented the rider of the Direct Energie team from being able to play a role in the final of this stage.

    After the last sand road, Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) tried his chance to attack but just after he entered the last kilometer the Belgian rider was also taken back and everyone was thus ready for a bunch sprint, which was won by Arnaud Démare (FDJ) ahead of Ben Swift (Team Sky) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis, solutions crédits).

    The classifications of Paris-Nice 2016 after the first stage

    The classification of the first stage: Condé-sur-Vesgre > Vendôme

    Here's the top 10 of this first stage:

    1/ Arnaud Démare (FDJ) - 4h29'53"
    2/ Ben Swift (Team Sky)
    3/ Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis, solutions crédits)
    4/ Adrien Petit (Direct Energie)
    5/ Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE)
    6/ Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep)
    7/ Sep Vanmarcke (Team Lotto NL-Jumbo)
    8/ Simon Geschke (Team Giant-Alpecin)
    9/ Jonas Vangenechten (IAM Cycling)
    10/ Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

    General classification

    Finishing 5th in today's stage, at the same time as Arnaud Démare, Michael Matthews keeps the yellow jersey which he took after yesterday's prologue:

    1/ Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) - 4h37'30"
    2/ Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant-Alpecin) - +0'03"
    3/ Patrick Bevin (Cannondale Pro Cycling Team) - +0'04"
    4/ Jon Izaguirre (Movistar Team) - +0'08"
    5/ Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

    Points classification

    In the points classification, Michael Matthews also keeps the lead, knowing that the green jersey will be worn by Arnaud Démare, second in this classification after his stage victory today:

    1/ Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) - 23 points
    2/ Arnaud Démare (FDJ) - 15 points
    3/ Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant-Alpecin) - 12 points
    4/ Ben Swift (Team Sky) - 12 points
    5/ Patrick Bevin (Cannondale Pro Cycling Team) - 9 points

    King of the mountains classification

    In the second sand road the riders found the only climb of the day and Pierre-Luc Périchon arrived on top first at the first crossing and this honour was for Jon Izaguirre at the second crossing. As a consequence, these two riders are leading the King of the mountains classification with both 4 points:

    1/ Jon Izaguirre (Movistar Team) - 4 points
    2/ Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) - 4 points
    3/ Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) - 2 points
    4/ Angelo Tulik (Direct Energie) - 2 points
    5/ Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) - 1 point

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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