Monday March 4th, 2013

Stage 1Saint-Germain-en-Laye / Nemours

Start 11h25 GMT 2+

Key moments

Stage summary04.03.2013 in 16:47Bouhanni keeps Paris-Nice a French property

Nacer Bouhanni was among the leading favourites to win the 1st stage of Paris-Nice and he lived up to the expectations to swap his French champion tricolore for the Yellow Jersey of the Race to the Sun. The FDJ ace sprinter overpowered Italians Alessandro Petacchi and Elia Viviani to snatch one of his most brilliant victories to date thanks to a perfect lead-out work by his team-mates.
As a a result, three Frenchmen are now leading the general classification, prologue winner Damien...

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interview04.03.2013 in 17:51 Chavanel: "I like to ride at the front"

Sylvain Chavanel explained that he had found himself in the front quite unwittingly, leading the sprint for one of his Omega Pharma Quick Step team-mates and praised the new generation of French sprinters.

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interview04.03.2013 in 16:56Bouhanni: "Especially glad for the team"

French champion Nacer Bouhanni was all the more pleased with his victory in the first stage of Paris-Nice as it was a great reward for his FDJ team-mates, who worked very hard to bring him back and set him up ideally for the bunch sprint in Nemours.

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Sporting stakes03.03.2013 in 17:48The stage is set for sprinters

With 195 kms of flat terrain, the stage is set for sprinters to express themselves after a short prologue which was a first test of their current form.

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Newsflashes

16:17Top five results

Top five results in the 195-kms first stage of Paris-Nice between St Germain-en-Laye and Nemours:

1. Nacer Bouhanni (France, FDJ)

2. Alessandro Petacchi (Italy, Lampre)

3. Elia Viviani (Italy, Cannondale) 

4. Jens Debbuschere (Belgium, Lotto)

5. Heinrich Haussler (Australia, IAM)

16:14Bouhanni wins 1st stage

French champion Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) wins the 195-kms first stage of Paris-Nice.

16:12Under the red flame

and Orica Greenedge stil lead the way, followed by Cannondale riders.

16:11Orica Greenedge lead

The Australian team are leading the way, probably for Leigh Howard.

16:10Gap increases

The Boonen, Kittel group are losing ground: 53 seconds with 3 kms to go. Offredo keeps leading the peloton.

16:085 kms to go...

... and the Boonen, Kittel group is now 45 seconds behind the leading peloton. Offredo is still leading the peloton, followed by Europcar riders.

16:06Offredo leads the way

FDJ now takes the reins of the peloton to launch the sprint for Nacer Bouhanni (7 kms to go)

16:0410 kms to go...

... and the gap between the two bunches is 30 seconds.

16:02Kittel in the second group

Following his puncture, Marcel Kittel, one of the leading favourites in case of a mass sprint, is in the second bunch.

15:5815 kms to go

... and the 37-strong second part of the peloton is 35 seconds behind the leading bunch.

15:55Mechanical for Kittel

Marcel Kittel (ARG) just suffered a mechanical problem.

15:51BMC leading the way

BMC's Amael Moinard is leading the way ahead of world champion Philippe Gilbert and Tejay Van Garderen. The BMC are trying to make the best of the echelon.

15:50Taaramae, Boonen in the second bunch

Rein Taaramae and Tom Boonen are among the riders trapped in the second part of the split peloton.

15:48End of the break

Km 172 - Talabardon and Lindeman have been reined in. As soon as the junction took place, the peloton split.

15:4525 kms to go...

...and Lindeman and Talabardon lead the peloton by 30 seconds.

15:39Sicard caught by the peloton

With 30 kms to go, Romain Sicard was caught by the main bunch.

15:37Sicard dropped by the lead

Romain Sicard (EUS) has been dropped by his breakaway companions shortly before the sprint (Km 162). The peloton lies 50 seconds behind Lindeman and Talabardon.

15:36Mechanic for Viviani

Elia Viviani (CAN) was held at the back by a mechanical problem.

15:35Sprint result

Result of the sprint in La Madeleine-sur-Loing (km 162):
1. Lindeman  3 points, 3 secs
2. Talabardon 2 points, 2 secs
3. Sicard 1 points, 1 sec

15:32Crash at the back

A pile-up at the crash involved several riders. The only seirously hurt seemed to be Kevin Seeldrayers (Astana), who was limping on the pavement.

15:31Latest gap

Km 157 - Sicard, Lindeman and Talabardon only lead the peloton by 1:30.

15:29Average speed

The average speed after four hours in the stage is 38.75 kph.

15:25FDJ join the chase

FDJ join Europcar in the chase with 40 kms to go before the finish line. Of course, French champion Nacer Bouhanni is one of the leading favourites in case of a bunch sprint, especially as he can count on a formidable lead-out train with Yoann Offredo, William Bonnet and Geoffrey Soupe.

15:19Lead is melting down

Only 2:15 left for the break as the peloton tackles the final loop around Nemours.

15:15Already a stage in Nemours in 1980

A half-stage of Paris-Nice finished in Nemours in 1980 and was won by Serge Parsani. 

15:14The break in Nemours

Romain Sicard (EUS), Bert-Jan Lideman (VCD) and Yannick Talabardon (SOJ) are now in Nemours fort the first time before a last 45-kms loop around town.

15:12Kristoff is back on his bike

The Norwegian spent some time on the tarmac but is now back in the race.

15:08Latst gap

Km 140 - The lead of the three escapees is no down to 3:30.

15:07Kristoff crashes too

Olympic bronze-medallist Alexander Kristoff (KAT) crashed heavily at kilometre 138.

15:02Rui Costa gives up

Rui Costa, the Movistar team leader, has given up with a wrist injury after his crash at kilometre 127.

14:59Latest gap

Km 140 - Sicard, Talabardon and Lindeman lead the bunch by four minutes.

14:58Sprinters within 10 seconds of the Yellow Jersey

Following are the fast men within 10 seconds of the Yellow Jersey:
Geoffrey Soupe (2 secs), Borut Bozic (3 secs), Sebastien Turgot (4 secs), Elia Viviani (5 secs), Wiliam Bonnet (6 secs), Tom Boonen (7 secs), Jose Joaquin Rojas  (8 secs), Alessandro Petacchi (8 secs), Mark Renshaw (8 secs), Heinrich Haussler (9 secs), Marcel Kittel (9 secs), Nacer Bouhanni (10 secs).

14:49Crash in the peloton

Km 127 - A crash took place in the peloton involving Rui Costa (MOV), Tony Gallopin (RLT), Lucas Haedo (CAN) and Samuel Dumoulin (ALT). They were all quickly back on their bike.

14:35Latest gap

Km 119.5 - At the top of the climb, the lead of the three escapees is 4:50.

14:34Lindeman takes polka-dot jersey

Dutchman Bert-Jan Lindeman (VCD) will hold the first polka-dot jersey in this Paris-Nice. Last year, the best climber's jersey was won by another Vacansoleil rider, Frederik Veuchelen.

14:32Result in Cote de Buthiers

Result in Cote de Buthiers (km 119.5, 4th cat.)

1. Lindeman 4 points

2. Talabardon 2 pts

3. Sicard 1 pt

14:29Average speed

The overall average speed after three hours or riding was 38.4 kph.

14:25Sprint result

Result of the first intermediate sprint in Malesherbes (km 115)
1. Lindeman 3 points, 3 secs
2. Talabardon2 points, 2 secs
3. Sicard 2 points, 2 secs

14:09Argos Shimano lead the chase

The peloton is led by the Argos Shimano team-mates of German sprinter Marcel Kittel and the Europcar team-mates of Yellow Jersey holder Damien Gaudin.

14:06Latest gap

Km 100 - The gap between the break and tje peloton is 5:00

13:56The gap under five minutes

Km 94 - Sicard, Lindemand and Talabardon now lead the bunch by 4:55.

13:51Fedrigo quits

Weakened by flu since the prologue, Pierrick Fedrigo (FDJ) just called it quits.

13:48Guille: "Sojasun's goal is the polka-dot"

Sojasun's team-director Nicolas Guille told www.lefour.fr that the main goal of Yannick Talabardon's break was to go for the polka-dot jersey: "Our main goal today was the polka-dot jersey. There is only one climb today and there is none tomorrow so it's a good opportunity to seize the jersey and keep it for two days. We had a good prologue as well and it was important for our morale to start this Paris-Nice well and hope to remain in this positive spiral."

13:37Gap goes down

Km 83 - The chase gains momentum as the three escapees now only lead the peloton by 5:45.

13:36The break in Etampes

The break is in Etampes (km 91) start of the first stage of Paris-Nice in 2005. Tom Boonen won that stage.  Etampes was also the start of the last stage of the 2008 Tour de France.

13:32Bouhanni feels well

FDJ team director Thierry Bricaud told www.letour.fr that French champion Nacer Bouhanni was in great shape and looking forward to a mass sprint: "We focus on the stage win. Nacer feels really well. We hope he'll go for the win in the finale. If we need to chase, we will, but other teams are also interested in a sprint finish."

13:28Average speed

The average speed after two hours in the race was 39.7 kph.

13:2512 degrees on the race

The weather is cool with a temperature on the race at 12 degrees and a brilliant sunshine.

13:23Gap stable

Km75 - The gap between Sicard, Talabardon and Lindeman remains stable at 7:05.

13:17Yannick Talabadon's profile

The 31-year-old Talabardon has been a pro since 2002. His most recent victory in the pro ranks was Paris-Troyes in 2009.

13:14The race in Dourdan

The race is in Dourdan (km 70), home of the Paris-Nice prologue in 1971 and 1972.  Eddy Merckx was the winner both times.

13:13Romain Sicard's profile

Under-23 road world champion in 2009, the Frenchman also won the Tour de l'Avenir that year. Seen as the great prospect for French cycling at that stage, he joined team Euskaltel in the pro ranks but has since been hampered by a lingering leg injury.

13:09Bert-Jan Lideman's profile

Pro with Vacansoleil since last season, Bert-Jan Lindeman, 23, has won one race in the professional ranks, the Profronde van Drenthe last year. He was also third in the Dutch road championship behind Niki Terpstra and Lars Boom.

13:03Latest gap

Km 60 - The gap between the three escapees and the peloton is 6:30. Europcar are leading the chase.

13:01The race in St Arnoult

The peloton is in Saint-Arnoult (Km 61), start of the first stage of Paris-Nice won by Greg Henderson in 2010 and start of the Paris-Tours classic from 2001 to 2008.

12:51The race in Rambouillet

The peloton is in Rambouillet (km 50) which was the start of the final stage in the last Tour de France.

12:39Gap keeps going up

Km 42 - The lead of Romain Sicard (EUS), Bertjan Lindeman (VCD) and Yannick Talabardon(SOJ) goes up to 7:20.

12:31Another Nemours-born

Another Nemours-born celebrity is Jean-Francois Pescheux, ASO's competitions director.

12:25Dakar winner pays friendly visit

Nemours-born motrocyclist Cyril Despres, the five times Dakar rally winner, paid a friendly visit to www.letour.fr. He will be at the finish to greet the riders. 

12:19Latest gap

Km 30 - The latest gap between the three and the peloton is 6:15.

12:14Flickinger: "Tricky to defend the jersey"

Andy Flickinger told www.letour.fr that the Yellow Jersey would not be easy to defend because of bonifications at the finish: "So far, so good. There are three men in the front and the best placed overall is 12 sec behind and there are only six seconds of bonifications to be taken in the intermediate sprints. Then everything will depend on the attitude of sprinters at the finish. Bouhanni and Boonen are not far in the GC, but we also have Sebastien Turgot who can do well. Obviously with...

11:58Fedrigo sick

Pierrick Fedrigo (FDJ) is sick with flu : "He nearly didn't start the prologue yesterday. He really is not in great shape. We'll take it day by day," team director Thierry Bricaud told www.letour.fr

11:57Gap increases

Km 17 - The gap reaches 6:50 between Sicard, Lindeman, Talabardon and the peloton.

11:44Latest gap

Km 8 - The three lead the peloton by 4:15.

11:37Talabardon on home roads

Paris-born Talabardon tweeted today (‏@TalabardonY) that he was excited to ride a stage entirely taking place in his native region of Ile-de-France: "It's rare enough to be mentioned", he wrote.

11:33First attack

On the gun, Romain Sicard (EUS), Bertjan Lindeman (VCD) and Yannick Talabardon (SOJ) broke clear. They now lead the bunch by 1:25.

11:31Start given

The start was given at 11:26 to 184 riders.

11:28Tweets of the day

Baden Cooke ‏@badencooke
Blue skies over Paris. Pretty happy about that. First time back at Paris-Nice in about 8 years for me.

Romain Lemarchand ‏@RLemarchand
First stage of Paris-Nice today (195km) with a finish in Nemours, the town in which I'm licensed.

David Millar ‏@millarmind
Nothing like feeling amazing in a prologue and finishing 82nd. Good times!

11:27In the press today

In l'Equipe, Philippe Bouvet reviews the reasons why Sylvain Chavanel can win Paris-Nice:
"He is the best placed of the favourites at the end of the short and winding prologue in which he managed to find his way like an eel. And since the race is often decided by seconds, the ones taken off his direct rivals (5 secs on Gesink, 8 secs on Porte, 10 sec on Van Garderen) are not a detail."
But Bouvet also mentions the reasons why Sylvain Chavanel will NOT win the Race to the Sun:

11:19Jersey holders

Thanks to his victory in the prologue, Damien Gaudin will ride the 195 kms to Nemours in the Yellow Jersey. The Frenchman (Europcar) leads compatriot Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma Quick Step) and Dutchman Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) by one second.
While Chavanel will be holding the green jersey on the roads of Ile de France, the best young rider's white jersey is on the back of 21-year-old Dutchman Wilco Kelderman, who leads France's Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ) and Tony Gallopin (RLT).

11:16On their way to the real start

The peloton are heading towards the real start. The 184 riders have taken off from St Germain-en-Laye near the Camp des Loges, Paris Saint-Germain training centre.

11:13Climb of the day

Km 119.5: Cote de Buthiers (4th cat.)

11:12Sprints of the day

Km 115: Malesherbes
Km 162: La Madeleine-sur-Loing

11:07Sunny all the way

The weather is sunny at the start and the sun will shine throughout the day according to weather forecasts.

11:06Welcome on the 1st stage

Welcome on the 195-kms first stage of Paris-Nice between St Germain-en-Laye and Nemours.

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Jersey wearers after the stage 7

Classifications after the stage 7

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