Stage summary10.03.2014 in 16:30Hofland surprises even himself
The stage was set for a remake of Sunday's final showdown between Nacer Bouhanni and John Degenkolb at the finish of the long second stage in St Georges-sur-Baulche, but victory went to a third man, Moreno Hofland, who stole the show for his greatest victory to date.read more
interview10.03.2014 in 17:14Moreno Hofland - A little surprise
Moreno Hofland (BEL) surprised pre-stage favorites John Degenkolb (GIA) and Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) but also admitted he had surprised himself by winning stage 2.
interview10.03.2014 in 17:12Nacer Bouhanni - My knee was not a problem
"I had a slight fear thinking back on my crash last year with the yell jersey on. But it was a nice day and everything went right. In the first 100 kilometers, I felt pain in my knee but then it went off as the ride went on. In the end I was not thinking about it anymore. In any case, it was not a problem from my sprint. I was only a little short on strength in the last 200 metros to be able to battle it out with Degenkolb and Hofland. Maybe I should have moved a little earlier to be in...read more
Sporting stakes09.03.2014 in 17:06Bouhanni must beware of the jinx
Nacer Bouhanni's record in Paris-Nice is such a mixture of joy and pain that he will be keen to break the jinx which saw him out of the race a year ago after only a day in the yellow jersey. The FDJ sprinter crashed and broke teeth in the previous edition and he will undoubtedly be closely watched and looked after by his team-mates in today's long 205-kms ride from Rambouillet to St Georges-sur-Baulche near Auxerre in Burgundy. Hopefully, his ailing knee will have fully recovered when and if...read more
|16:01||Bouhanni retains yellow jersey|
Top five overall standings after the second stage:
1. Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ)
2. John Degenkolb (GIA)
3. Moreno Hofland (BEL)
4. Geraint Thomas (SKY)
5. Bryan Coquard (EUC)
|15:59||Top 5 placings|
Top five placings in the 205-km second stage of Paris-Nice between Rambouillet and St Georges-sur-Baulche
1. Moreno Hofland (Netherlands, BEL)
2. John Degenkolb (Germany, GIA)
3. Nacer Bouhanni (France, FDJ)
4. Alexander Kristoff (Norway, KAT)
5. Thor Hushovd (Norway, BMC)
|15:54||Hofland wins the 2nd stage|
Moreno Hofland (BEL) wins the 205-km second stage of Paris-Nice. John Degenkolb (GIA) was second and NAcer Bouhanni (FDJ) was third.
|15:52||Under the red flame|
... with Giant Shimano still leading the way for John Degenkolb.
|15:51||2 kms to go...|
... and the sprint is taking shape with Giant Shimano leading the way. Meersman has not yet made it back into the pack.
Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM) has been caught by the chasing bunch with four kilometres to go.
|15:47||5 kms to go...|
... and Saramotins effort is about to be reined in.
|15:46||Only 10 seconds left for Saramotins|
Less than 10 kms to go and Saramotins has only 10 seconds left on the main pack, in which Simon Gerrans (OGE) is working very hard.
|15:42||Meersman involved in crash|
A collective crash took place at the back, involving green jersey holder Gianni Meersman (OPQ), Edvald Boasson-Hagen (SKY), Lars Boom (BEL) and Tyler Farrar (GRS).
|15:38||Saramotins on his own|
12 kms to go and Saramotins dropped Delaplace and went away on his own.
|15:37||Orica Greenedge leading the chase|
Orica Greenedge are now joining in the the chase, working for house sprinter Matt Goss.
|15:33||15 kms to go...|
... and Anthony Delaplace (BSE) and Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM) lead the chasing peloton by 2:00.
|15:32||Meersman ahead of Bouhanni|
By collecting a second in the last intermediate sprint, Belgium's Gianni Meersman (OPQ) now leads yellow jersey holder Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) by one second in the overall standings.
|15:31||Result of the second intermediate sprint|
Result of the second intermediate sprint in St Georges-sur-Baulche (km 186.5):
|15:25||20 kms to go...|
... an Delaplace and Saramotins now lead the peloton by three minutes.
|15:22||Giant Shimano also in the chase|
Less than 25 kilometres to go and John Degenkolb's Giant Shimano team-mates are now joining forces with FDJ.fr and Omega Pharma Quick Step at the front of the bunch.
|15:14||Andy Schleck dropped|
Luxembourg's Andy Schleck (TFR), who already lost nearly two minutes in the first stage, has now been dropped by the peloton.
|15:13||30 kms to go...|
... and the lead of Delaplace and Saramotins is trimmed down to 4:00.
|15:09||Peloton raises tempo|
Omega Pharma Quick Step are increasing the pace at the front of the peloton and the pack is stretched along the road as the gap goes down to 4:15.
|15:01||Laborie increases polka-dot lead|
Third at the top of the only climb of the day, Christophe Laborie increased his lead in the mountain classification and will keep his polka-dot jersey for one more day at least. Tomorrow's third stage only includes one third category climb.
|15:00||Results in Cote de la Ferte Loupiere|
Results in the 3rd category Cote de la Ferte Loupiere (km 160.5)
|14:54||The two in the climb|
Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM) is first at the top of the only climb of the day, Cote de la Ferte Loupiere (3rd cat) ahead of Anthony Dalaplace.
|14:26||A land of sprinters|
St Georges-sur-Baulche is a suburb of Auxerre, which hosted seven Paris-Nice stages in the past crowning some of the sport's greatest finishers in Freddy Maertens (1977) and Jan Raas (1980), who both won with the rainbow jersey on their back.
It is just under 20 degrees C on the race. An ideal temperature for a bike race.
|14:15||Gap going down|
Km 127 - The peloton raised the tempo and the gap behind escapees Anthony Delaplace (BSE) and Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM) is down to 5:55.
The average speed in the third hour of the stage was 38.9 kph for an overall speed of 40.8 kph.
|13:57||Omega Pharma Quick Step lead the bunch|
The Omega Pharma Quick Step of Gianni Meersman and Tom Boonen are leading the peloton chase, 8:30 behind escapees Anthony Delaplace (BSE) and Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM) (km 113).
|13:43||Seigneur - A lost cause|
IAM team director Eddy Seigneur admitted Aleksejs Saramotins and his breakaway companion Anthony Delaplace seldom had a chance to go all the way.
Km 96 - The lead of the two escapees, Delaplace (BSE) and Saramotins (IAM) has remained unchanged for the past 20 kms at 7:40.
|13:18||Happy birthday Luke Rowe|
Happy birthday to Luke Rowe (SKY), who is celebrating his 24th birthday on the road between Rambouillet and St Georges-sur-Saulche.
The peloton is pushed by a solid tail wind, which can account for the reasonably high speed so far.
The average speed in the second hours of the stage was 39.6 kph. The overall average speed since the start was 41.3 kph.
|12:56||Gap keeps going down|
Km 73 - The gap between Delaplace (BSE), Saramotins (IAM) and the peloton dropped to 8:20.
Km 68 - The gap between Delpalace, Saramotins and the peloton remains stable at 9:05.
|12:39||Meersman level with Bouhanni|
Thanks to the one-second bonus bagged in the intermediate sprint, Belgium's Gianni Meersman (OPQ) is now level on time with Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) in the GC.
|12:38||Result of the first sprint|
Result of the first intermediate sprint in Malesherbes (km 61.5):
|12:37||Saramotins back in the lead|
Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM) is back with Anthony Delaplace (BSE) in the front after his puncture.
Latvia's Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM) just punctured in the break.
|12:27||Emmanuel Hubert (BSE) - To keep the bunch at bay|
Bretagne Seche team director Emmanuel Hubert told www.letour.fr the escapees were trying to hold a steady tempo to keep the peloton at bay without speeding too much: "The aim is to maintain a steady pace but not go too fast or the sprinters teams will get angry. If they keep chasing at the pace they are now, it won't go far. The idea is never to show the jersey, when you have someone in the break, you want it to go all the way. But it's not ideal with only two riders. We'll see how it goes,"...
Anthony Delaplace, 24, was French junior champion in 2007. He won a stage on the Tour de l'Avenir in 2010 and Polynormande in 2011.
|12:08||Gap goes down|
Km 40 - The lead of Delaplace (BSE) and Saramotins (IAM) goes down a bit: 10:30.
|12:04||Lionel Marie (GIA): John was forced to brake|
Giant Shimano team director Lionel Marie told ww.letour.fr that Germany's John Degenkolb, second in yesterday's first stage, had been forced to brake in the finale, eventually losing to France's Nacer Bouhanni.
The average speed after one hour in the stage was 43 kph.
|11:58||Lead reaches 11:30|
Km 31.5 - The lead of escapees Anthony Delaplace (BSE) and Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM) eached 11:30.
|11:55||The peloton in Etampes|
The peloton is nearing Etampes (Km 33.5), start of the last stage of the 2008 Tour de France. That stage was won by Belgium's Gert Steegmans and Carlos Sastre was crowned on the Champs-Elysees. Tony Gallopin made his cycling debut with the local club, VC Etampes.
|11:46||In the press today|
In l'Equipe, AG2R team director Vincent Lavenu explained that he rode Romain Bardet's second bike himself to speed the process when the Frenchman found himself blocked by a crash in yesterday's stage.
At 31, Aleksejs Saramotins is a solid, experienced rider who won the Latvian national title six times and is his country's current champion. Among his other victories, the GP d'Isbergues in 2010 and the Tour du Doubs last season.
|11:41||FDJ lead the chase|
Nacer Bouhanni's FDJ team-mates have seized the reins of the peloton, who is now 10:40 behind the two escapees, Dalaplace and Saramotins.
|11:36||Gap up to 9:15|
Km 19 - Delaplace (BSE) and Saramotins (IAM) now lead the pack by 9:15.
|11:35||Quotes at the start|
While the first stage trapped a few of the pre-race favorites after a series of crashes, riders at the start in Rambouillet reassessed their positions before a long 205-kms stage to St Georges-sur-Baulche. Thomas Voeckler was one of the riders halted by a pile-up and the Europcar team leader said he would work for a stage victory by the French outfit's best sprinter: "We'll do our best so that it's Bryan Coquard's turn to win," he said.
Km 11 - Gap increases and Delaplace (BSE) and Saramotins (IAM) now lead the main pack by 5:40.
|11:20||Pineau at home|
While Team FDJ.fr will reach St Georges-sur-Baulche with the yellow jersey on the back of Nacer Bouhanni, it will also be a special finish for his team-mate Cedric Pineau, who lives in this suburb of Auxerre.
Km 10 - Delaplace (BSE) and Saramotins (IAM) now lead the peloton by 4:35.
|11:13||The two lead by 3:05|
Km 8 - Saramotins and Delaplace lead the peloton by 3:05.
|11:11||Two men in front|
Latvia's Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM) and France's Anthony Delaplace (BSE) broke clear after 2.5 kms.
The start was given at 11:00 from Rambouillet in glorious sunshine.
|11:01||27 riders warned at the start|
Twenty seven riders were warned at the start for failing to come to the podium in Rambouillet to sign the start list, race director Thierry Gouvenou said. He added that a second offence would lead to their exclusion.
|10:50||Bricaud - Nacer's ambition is to raise his arms again|
FDJ.fr's team director Thierry Bricaud made it clear that Nacer Bouhanni's ambition today was to raise his arms in victory again on the finish line.
Thanks to his victory in the 1st stage around Mantes-la-Jolie, France's Nacer Bouhanni holds the yellow, green and white jerseys. The only one eluding him is the polka-dot garment, on the back of fellow-Frenchman Christophe Laborie thanks to his long solo in Sunday's stage.
|10:44||Climb of the day|
Km 160.5 - Cote de la Ferte Loupiere (3rd cat)
|10:43||Sprints of the day|
Km 61.5 - Malesherbes
|10:34||Welcome on the second stage|
Welcome to the 205-kms second stage of Paris-Nice between Rambouillet and St Georges-de-Baulche. Stay tuned to www.letour. fr
Jersey wearers after the stage 8
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