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by Matt de Neef
March 6, 2017
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Arnaud Demare triumphs on stage 1 of Paris-Nice; Michal Kwiatkowski solos to victory in men’s Strade Bianche; Elisa Longo Borghini claims thrilling women’s Strade Bianche; Jos Van Emden wins Dwaars door West-Vlaanderen; Adam Yates wins the GP Industria & Artigianato; Yohann Gene wraps up overall victory at La Tropicale Amissa Bongo; Romain Bardet kicked out of Paris-Nice for illegal teamcar assistance; Richie Porte loses time on opening stage of Paris-Nice; Doctors rebelled over drug for Wiggins; Dave Brailsford among Team Sky staff treated with triamcinolone; Danny MacAskill and Hans Rey freeriding in Northwest Arkansas.
Frenchman Arnaud Demare (FDJ) has taken opening-day honours at Paris-Nice, beating compatriot Julian Alaphilippe (QuickStep Floors) in a two-up sprint on stage 1. A bunch sprint had been expected for the 148.5km stage in the north of France but with rain and strong crosswinds affecting proceedings, the stage took a somewhat unexpected turn.
Pre-stage favourites Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Marcel Kittel (QuickStep Floors) were among the riders to be dropped from a lead group of roughly 20 in the final two kilometres of the stage. Alaphilippe attacked on a climb with 1.5km to go, and only Demare was able to follow.
Last year’s Milan-San Remo victor took the spoils ahead of of Alaphilippe, with Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) leading in a small chase group.
Earlier in the day a four-rider breakaway got clear of the bunch, building a lead of six minutes. At that point some strong riding split the peloton in the crosswinds, with little more than 20 riders making it to the elite chase group that featured Kittel and Greipel. The chase group caught the breakaway before the combined lead group started to splinter in the closing kilometres.
The eight-stage Paris-Nice continues Monday with a mostly flat stage from Rochefort-en-Yvelines to Amilly.