Groenewegen powers through wind to take Paris-Nice opener

Dylan Groenewegen wins stage 1 Paris Nice 2019

Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) outsprinted Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) to win the opening stage of Paris-Nice on a windswept Sunday in the outskirts of Paris.

The race opened with a 138.5km circuit that began and ended in Saint-Germain-en-Laye in winds so strong they shattered the peloton.

Groenewegen was part of a group of 60 riders who benefited from the weather to break away.

“It was a very windy day, we had to stay ahead and, for that, there was a great team work,” Groenewegen said. “I knew the last two kilometres well, it helped me.

The winner of last year’s race, Marc Soler, was not so lucky. The Movistar rider finished in the second group just over a minute behind.

Michael Matthews, the leader of the Sunweb team, crashed badly after 50km and had to drop out.

Sprinting into a headwind at the finish, Groenewegen held off Ewan, with another Dutchman Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) third.

“On this Paris-Nice, there are a lot of good sprinters,” Groenewegen said. “It gives me pride to beat them even if I have already done it at the Tour de France.”

Groenewegen picked up a 10 second bonus to take the overall lead ahead of Ewan and Michal Kwiatkowski of Team Sky, who snapped up five seconds in intermediate sprints.

Monday’s stage, a long 163.5km run south to Bellegarde, should favour the sprinters.

Paris-Nice 2019 – stage 1 results (Saint-Germain-en-Laye – Saint-Germain-en-Laye):

1 Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma)

3:17:35

2 Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal)

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3 Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

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4 Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe)

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5 John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)

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6 Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott)

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7 Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)

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8 Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida)

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9 Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept-B&B Hotel)

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10 Anthony Turgis (Direct Energie)

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Paris-Nice 2019 – general classification after stage 1:

1 Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma)

3:17:35

2 Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal)

+04”

3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky)

+05”

4 Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana)

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5 Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

+06”

6 Egan Bernal (Team Sky)

+09”

7 Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ)

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8 Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe)

+10”

9 John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)

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10 Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott)

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