Paris-Nice 2018: Dylan Groenewegen strong sprinter in the 2nd stage
The second stage of Paris-Nice 2018 between Orsonville and Vierzon didn't present any climbs and it was thus almost sure that it would end in a bunch sprint. The breakaway took some time to get off and the speed in today's stage was quite low all the way long, but in the end we saw a classical set-up for such a stage: a breakaway of 6 riders which was quickly reduced to two, taken back at 4 kilometers from their goal, after which a bunch sprint was prepared. In that bunch sprint Dylan Groenewegen showed his strong legs by starting off his sprint quite early and winning the stage!
The summary of the 2nd stage of Paris-Nice 2018: Orsonville > Vierzon
The weather was a bit better than yesterday when the second stage of Paris-Nice 2018 set off from Orsonville in the Yvelines department early this afternoon. Missing at the start was of course Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) who abandoned the race yesterday, but also Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) who was hurt on his knee in the crash at 3 kilometers from the finish yesterday and who was really too much in pain when pushing the pedals.
Differently from yesterday, the riders were really not in a hurry to get in a breakaway and at the first intermediate sprint intermédiaire in Patay, at kilometer 63.5, the peloton was thus still bunched together. The perfect occasion for Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) to take 3 extra points for his green jersey of the points classification but also 3 seconds for the yellow jersey with the white band of the general classification!
At kilometer 94, while the average speed of the race was just above 33 kilometers an hour, Thomas de Gendt (Lotto Soudal) decided to attack, followed by Manuele Boaro (Bahrain-Merida), Tiago Machado (Team Katusha Alpecin), Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale), Anthony Delaplace (Team Fortuneo-Samsic) and Lars Boom (Team Lotto NL-Jumbo) but the team of the GC leader, Groupama-FDJ, immediately reacted in order to control their gap.
This gap didn't even reach one minute before going down again, down to 10 seconds at the moment where De Gendt, Naesen, Delaplace and Boom were taken back by the peloton. Boaro and Machado insisted and made the gap grow again, up to almost 3 minutes!
As usual, their gap was however completely controlled by the peloton and in the last 10 kilometers the peloton had the leading duo in sight. They had to wait however until 4 kilometers from the finish to see the adventure of the leading duo come to an end and start preparing the bunch sprint. A bunch sprint on a long straight line of almost one kilometer of which the second half going uphill.
In the last kilometer we mainly saw the Quick-Step ahead of the race as well as Ramon Sinkeldam for Groupama-FDJ but his leader Arnaud Démare got stuck behind other riders. In the end Dylan Groenewegen (Team Lotto NL-Jumbo) took the head of the race at 250 meters from the finish and he ended off the race very strongly, ahead of Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors).
The average speed of the stage was only 38.59 km/h.
The classifications of Paris-Nice 2018 after the second stage