Paris - Nice 2023: Merlier sprints to first leader’s jersey

Tim Merlier pn - Paris - Nice 2023: Merlier sprints to first leader's jerseyfoto: Cor VosTim Merlier sprints to victory in the 1st stage of Paris-Nice. He outguns Sam Bennett and Mads Pedersen. Obviously, the Belgian champion is the first GC leader, while Tadej Pogacar sits in third after winning the intermediate sprint. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 1st stage 2023 Paris-Nice

1. Tim Merlier (bel)
2. Sam Bennett (irl) s.t.
3. Mads Pedersen (den) s.t.
4. Olav Kooij (nld) s.t.
5. Arnaud De Lie (bel) s.t.
6. Michael Matthews (aus) s.t.
7. Bryan Coquard (fra) s.t.
8. Iván García (spa) s.t.
9. Kaden Groves (aus) s.t.
10. Arnaud Démare (fra) s.t.

GC after stage 1
1. Tim Merlier (bel)
2. Sam Bennett (irl) + 0.04
3. Tadej Pogacar (slo) s.t.
4. Mads Pedersen (den) + 0.06
5. Pierre Latour (fra) s.t.
6. Dorian Godon (fra) + 0.08
7. Olav Kooij (nld) + 0.10
8. Arnaud De Lie (bel) s.t.
9. Michael Matthews (aus) s.t.
10. Bryan Coquard (fra) s.t.

Race report
Paul Ourselin and Jonas Gregaard break clear at kilometre 15 to open a 4 minutes lead. The duo is reeled in with 31 kilometres remaining

Powless sets the pace and the peloton splits on the Côte de Milon-la-Chapelle with 20 kilometres to go. Some 4 kilometres later it is the American who attacks from the first group, while a regroupment happens behind him.

The peloton reels in Powless just before the last climb, Côte de 17 Tournants. Pogacar gains a time bonus of 6 seconds at the top. He pushes on with Latour and Vingegaard before the two Tour de France champions stop their efforts.

Latour is the last attacker to be caught with 2 kilometres to go.

Merlier storms to a commanding victory in the ensuing bunch sprint. Obviously, he is first leader on GC.

Another interesting read: route 1st stage 2023 Paris-Nice.

Paris-Nice 2023 stage 1: route, profiles, more

Click on the images to zoom

Tim Merlier

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