Paris-Nice 2017: Démare bests Alaphilippe in sprint-à-deux

At 148.5 kilometres, stage 1 in Paris-Nice is marked by echelons. After sensational racing Alaphilippe attacks on a 6% climb in the deep finale. Démare jumps to his wheel and the Milan-San Remo winner bests his compatriot on the line. Along with Alaphilippe, Dan Martin, Sergio Henao and Tony Gallopin are the best performing GC-favourites. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 1st stage Paris-Nice

1. Arnaud Démare (fra)
2. Julian Alaphilippe (fra) s.t.
3. Alexander Kristoff (nor) + 0.09
4. Philippe Gilbert (bel) s.t.
5. Romain Hardy (fra) s.t.
6. Daniel Martin (irl) s.t.
7. Tony Gallopin (fra) s.t.
8. Marco Haller (aut) s.t.
9. Sergio Henao (col) s.t.
10. Rudy Molard (fra) s.t.

GC after 1st stage
1. Arnaud Démare (fra)
2. Julian Alaphilippe (fra) + 0.04
3. Alexander Kristoff (nor) + 0.15
4. Philippe Gilbert (bel) + 0.16
5. Tony Gallopin (fra) + 0.17
6. Romain Hardy (fra) + 0.18
6. Daniel Martin (irl) + 0.19
8. Marco Haller (aut) s.t.
9. Sergio Henao (col) s.t.
10. Rudy Molard (fra) s.t.

16. Richie Porte (aus) + 0.57
17. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) s.t.
19. Warren Barguil (fra) + 1.13
20. Alberto Contador (spa) + 1.14
22. Ion Izagirre (spa) s.t.
32. Nicolas Roche (irl) + 2.07
36. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 2.28

Race report
Once the flag is dropped a group with Sylvain Chavanel, Romain Hardy, Gatis Smukulis and Kristijan Koren braves the rainy and windy conditions. The gap balloons to 6 minutes, while Romain Hardy snatches most KOM-points on the first climb up the Côte de Senlisse.

When cross winds break the peloton into pieces, the lead goes down fast. Kristoff, Kittel, Rowe, Gilbert, Coquard, Gallopin, Greipel, Ion Izagirre, Sergio Henao, Dan Martin and Alaphilippe are in the first group – Bardet, Porte, Contador, Zakarin and most other GC-favourites wind up in the second.

Due to the acceleration the front group is caught by the first group, while the GC-favourites are chasing at 1 minute for quite a while without getting closer. In the meantime, the KOM-points on top of the second Côte de Senlisse-climb are for Hardy, too.

Izagirre is dropped from the first group when he stumbles into the fields.

At the last climb Alaphilippe attacks and Démare jumps to his wheel. The Milan-San Remo winner claims a convincing win in the ensuing sprint, showing he is ready to roll in the 2017 season.

After having missed the crucial split to begin with, Contador loses ground on his direct GC-opponents Porte, Bardet and Zakarin in the last kilometres.

Romain Bardet was disqualified after the race, he received illegal assistance from his team car.

Check out today’s route.

Paris-Nice 2017 stage 1: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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Arnaud DemareJulian Alaphilippe

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