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Groenewegen wins stage 2 of Paris-Nice; Wiggins and Sky faulted: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

March 6, 2018

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Groenewegen wins stage 2 of Paris-Nice

by Shane Stokes

Going long and then holding on to take the victory, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) proved best on Monday’s stage two of Paris-Nice. The Dutchman answered a surge by Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) on the uphill rise to the line and while the Irishman faded, Groenewegen did not.

He blasted home ahead of Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors), André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and the rest of the main bunch. Stage one winner Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) finished fifth and retained his race leader’s jersey.

“It was a difficult sprint. The last two hundred metres went uphill,” Groenewegen said. “The boys perfectly dropped me off for the last corner. I was well positioned for the sprint. I just went full throttle and nobody was able to keep up with me. I am very happy with this victory, because I beat a lot of good sprinters, like Viviani, Démare and Greipel. It’s always good to be able to beat those top guys.”

The stage covered 187.5 kilometres between Orsonville and Vierzon and was mainly flat. Early attacks didn’t lead to a successful break, enabling Demare to take a time bonus by winning the intermediate sprint. Then, with 90 kilometres left, a six-man break succeeded in getting clear.

Manuele Boaro (Bahrain-Merida) and Tiago Machado (Katusha-Alpecin) later pushed ahead from this group, establishing a three minute gap over the peloton with less than a hour’s racing remaining. However they were gobbled up before the line, where Groenewegen won. Demare ended the day seven seconds clear of Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) and eight up on Christophe Laporte (Cofidis, Solutions Credits).

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