Arnaud Demare avenged a season of struggle when he surged in the final stretch of a snowy first stage of Paris-Nice to outsprint Ben Swift (Sky) and Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) and snatch his first major victory since his French champion title two years ago. Australia's Michael Matthews (Orica Greenegde) kept a close watch on his main GC rivals to retain his leader's yellow jersey, even collecting a few seconds in the last intermediate sprint of the day before the final battle started on the...
"I'm super happy. It was a hard day with the snowflakes. It was tiring, especially the little lanes in the finale. We were not that many in the end. It's a victory I had been waiting for for a long time. The team did a good job. Everybody is smiling. Last year was a struggle and it's nice to be able to prove I can still win a big one. For me, the last big one I won was my French title in 2014. In the days ahead, it will be different. It was not a normal sprint today. I launched it from afar....
The stage in videos
- Onboard - Stage 1 - Paris-Nice 2016
- Summary - Stage 1 (Condé-sur-Vesgre /...
The stage in pictures
Paris-Nice 2016 - 07/03/2016 - Etape 1 - Condé-sur-Vesgre - Vendôme (198 Km) - les coureurs dans la cote du chemin du Tertre de la Motte © ASO/B.Bade
Located 60km south-west of Paris, Condé-sur-Vesgre offers an agreeable way of life due to its rich natural heritage. The village's situation is highly desirable: not only does the Vesgre, a tributary of the Eure, run through it, but the east of its territory also includes part of the Rambouillet woodlands, where visitors and residents can go for walks in a setting where wild boar, stags, does, pheasants and herons can be seen. Historically, Condé stands out thanks to the 11th century Saint-Germain-de-Paris church, which includes two listed stained glass windows, and to “La Colonie”, a building which bears witness to plans for and attempts at community life based on the theories of Charles Fourier. These days, the village, which long thrived on its pottery industry, is a dynamic place to live where care is taken to protect the biodiversity illustrated by the flora and fauna found in its forests, rivers and ponds. With 1,200 inhabitants, the village's demographic growth has been accompanied by remarkable economic development, including the creation of local businesses and services. Condé is also a port of call and a welcome stop for cyclists: pilgrims travelling from the Netherlands to Saint James of Compostela and the Paris-Brest-Paris race.
Place Vendôme, the famous Parisian square, is a universally recognised mark of luxury and elegance and is named after a town that has been associated with all the great moments in French history for the past 1000 years. The town of Vendôme was the seat of the Bourbon-Vendôme dynasty that provided France with 7 kings. It was also the setting for Pierre de Ronsard's Les Amours in the 16th century and home to the young Honoré de Balzac in the 19th century. Marshal de Rochembeau, who played a decisive role in bringing about victory in the American War of Independence, was born here. Its rich architectural and plant heritage are evidence of this illustrious past. Vendôme's recent history is no less eventful. For the last 25 years, a TGV service has meant that the town is only 42 minutes from Paris, a unique asset for the local economy, which, as a result, is both extremely diverse and innovative in all sectors. The town is equally dynamic in terms of culture and sports with excellent facilities and many events run by enthusiastic locals. Authentic, elegant and innovative, Vendôme is definitely much more than just a square.
Jersey wearers after the stage 7
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- 03/13Richie Porte: "A little surprise"
- 03/13Duchesne: "My greatest achievement"
- 03/13Tim Wellens: "A great victory"
- 03/13Geraint Thomas: "I'm over the moon"
- 03/12Sky ready to maintain Paris-Nice...
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