Paris-Nice 2015: Greipel powers to victory, Degenkolb comes closer

Stage 2 in Paris-Nice leads the riders in 172 kilometres from Saint-Aignan to Saint-Amand-Montrond. After a brave attack by Arnaud Gerard a bunch sprint is today's likely outcome. André Greipel bestst Démare and Degenkolb, with the latter creeping up closer to leader Kwiatkowski. The German is 2 seconds down now. (Slideshow route/profile)

Paris – Nice 2015: Results 2nd stage

1. André Greipel (ger)
2. Arnaud Démare (fra) s.t.
3. John Degenkolb (ger) s.t.
4. Michael Matthews (aus) s.t.
5. José Joaquin Rojas (spa) s.t.
6. Nacer Bouhanni (fra) s.t.
7. Moreno Hofland (nld) s.t.
8. Alexander Kristoff (nor) s.t.
9. Jonas Van Genechten (bel) s.t.
10. Nicola Bonifazio (ita) s.t.

142. Bradley Wiggins (gbr) + 0.27

GC after the 2nd stage
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (pol)
2. Rohan Dennis (aus) s.t.
3. John Degenkolb (ger) + 0.02
4. Tony Martin(ger) + 0.07
5. Michael Matthews (aus) + 0.09
6. Luis León Sánchez (spa) + 0.10
7. Lars Boom (nld) s.t.
8. Sylvain Chavanel (fra) s.t.
9. Tom Dumoulin (nld) + 0.13
10. Geraint Thomas (gbr) s.t.

11. Alexander Kristoff (nor) + 0.14
12. Tejay van Garderen (usa) s.t.
13. Richie Porte (aus) s.t.
14. Wilco Kelderman (nld) s.t.
29. Rui Costa (por) + 0.21
41. Andrew Talansky (usa) + 0.25

Race Report
Once the flag is dropped Arnaud Gerard breaks free. The 30-year old Frenchman races to a comfortable gain. At the first intermediate sprint after 57 kilometres the results are 1/ Gerard 2/ Kristoff 3/ Degenkolb, with Gerard 7’20” ahead of the pack. Leader Kwiatkowski is under fire, since Kristoff and Degenkolb are now respectively 14 and 8 seconds down on him. .

The second intermediate is Gerard’s also, but the reeling in is seriously underway. The gap is only 1 minute. Degenkolb takes 2 seconds and Michael Matthews 1 second, meaning the German is 6 seconds behind Kwiatkowski and the Australian 10 seconds. What will the end-verdict be with 10, 6 and 4 seconds to win?

When tackling the only climb of the day, Cote de la Tour (3rd category), Philippe Gilbert en Jonathan Hivert jump off the front off the peloton. They crest the hill second and third after Gerard. So Hivert will still wear the polka dot jersey tomorrow.

With 37 kilometres left the pack is back together again, but at 9 kilometres Tony Martin attacks and in the company of Lars Boom en Geraint Thomas he storms to the finish.

No glory. At 1.6 kilometres the super-trio is gobbled up by the pack and a bunch sprint is the only option left. André Greipel is fastest, outsprinting both Arnaud Démare and John Degenkolb. Taking 4 bonification seconds Degenkolb is closing in on Kwiatkowski – only 2 seconds left. Shall he be in yellow tomorrow?

Paris – Nice 2015 stage 2: Images and more

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Andre Greipel

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