Nizzolo claims stage 2 on another windy day at Paris-Nice

Giacomo Nizzolo pounced late to win a rainy stage two of the Paris-Nice on Monday, as Nairo Quintana suffered a damaging day.

Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-hansgrohe) remains in the overall leader’s yellow jersey, while Nizzolo is second, 15 seconds adrift.

Stage two culminated in a small bunch sprint after a blustery 166.5km struggle from Chevreus to Chalette-Sur-Loing with Peter Sagan and Vincenzo Nibali notably keeping pace with a lead group of 12.

Sagan and Nibali, who finished three seconds behind Monday’s winner, had both been slated to race in Italy, and only came to Paris-Nice when the Strade Bianchi and Tirreno-Adriatico races were postponed due to the coronavirus.

In the final sprint, Sagan’s teammate Pascal Ackermann made a determined bid for the line from just inside the final kilometre, but was well beaten by a powerful surge from Nizzolo.

“I waited until as long as I could and then took his (Ackermann’s) wheel as he came past. Then at the line, I managed to get past him.”

Nairo Quintana, previously seen as a favourite, was caught in a fall 25km from home with the peloton rolling at full pace, he dropped 1min 25sec on the day.

Another man tipped as a potential winner, Julian Alaphilippe, also suffered a costly puncture 30km from the finish line and rode home with Quintana.

The pair are could work together to claw back time in the coming stages.

“I was in the lead group and in the time it took to get a new bike we were in the fourth group,” said Alaphilippe, describing the splits in the wind-lashed peloton as Bora-hansgrohe set a fast pace across the final exposed plains.

Thibaut Pinot also lost precious seconds when he was caught by Bora’s sudden late surge led by powerhouse Sagan.

“Peter (Sagan) made such a huge effort to split up the front group. We had a great chance today,” said yellow jersey Schachmann.

“EF Pro Cycling did a good job too as Sergio Higuita was there. In the mountain he will be one of the best competitors.”

Tuesday’s third stage of eight is a long 212.5km flat run through exposed wheat plains.

Paris-Nice 2020 – stage 2 results (Chevreuse – Chalette-sur-Loing):

1Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT)

3:49:57

2Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe)

,,

3Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)

,,

4Nils Politt (Israel Start-Up Nation)

,,

5Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling)

,,

6Mads Schmidt Würtz (Israel Start-Up Nation)

,,

7Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo)

+03”

8Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-hansgrohe)

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9Felix Grossschartner (Bora-hansgrohe)

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10Krists Neilands (Israel Start-Up Nation)

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Paris-Nice 2020 – general classification after stage 2:

1Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-hansgrohe)

7:22:06

2Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT)

+15”

3Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)

+21”

4Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling)

+23”

5Nils Politt (Israel Start-Up Nation)

+25”

6Mads Schmidt Würtz (Israel Start-Up Nation)

,,

7Felix Grossschartner (Bora-hansgrohe)

+28”

8Krists Neilands (Israel Start-Up Nation)

,,

9Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo)

,,

10Tiesj Benoot (Team Sunweb)

+38”

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