The 166.5km flat second stage of the Paris-Nice, starting in Chevreuse and finishing Chalette-Sur-Loing was expected to be one for the sprinters. But like stage one, it was a difficult day due to heavy rain and echelons which split up the peloton.
A two-man breakaway formed early on building a two-minute advantage over the peloton but were caught 105km into the stage. However, the peloton was broken up by the harsh conditions. Unfortunately, our riders couldn’t stay with the first group, which went from 35 riders to 12 as the pace picked up. It was Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) who took the win ahead of Ackermann and Stuyven in a sprint finish.
Team Bahrain McLaren riders, including our leader Dylan Teuns, crossed the finish line with a gap of 36” losing second place overall. Heinrich Haussler and Ivan Cortina crossed the line alongside Teuns. Cortina is optimistic about recovering the time gap: “At 16km to finish, we started to feel the pressure, and there was a lot more tension in the group. Then we started with the crosswinds, we missed the first group by maybe 2-3 positions. But it is like it is and we tried to go full gas to come back, but we came to the finish line with quite a gap. We will try to recover time in the mountain stages”.
Pello Bilbao commented: “Not the best day for us. We had some problems in the last 30 km. I went out of the road, and Dylan was in the second group. Now, I have to forget the overall and concentrate on the stages and go with Dylan in the mountain stages”.
Paris-Nice continues tomorrow with stage 3, that should be another one for the sprinters.
(All pictures can be used for editorial and non-commercial usages only and are copyright @Bettiniphoto @TeamBahrainMcLaren)
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