Paris-Nice Stage 1: As Tough as They Come7. March 2016, Vendome (FRA) — Road Team
The opening stage of Paris-Nice was a battle of epic proportions, with the peloton facing cold weather, wind and snow in what can only be described as an intense day of racing.
Arnaud Démarre (FDJ) took the win in a reduced-bunch sprint with Ben Swift (Team Sky) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) rounding out the top three.
BMC Racing Team leader Richie Porte crossed the line safely in 12th place and has been elevated to eighth place in the General Classification. Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEDGE) has retained the leader's Yellow Jersey.
“It was one of the most nervous and sketchy kind of days I’ve had. You could feel in the peloton all day that everyone was stressed. I think it was actually a bit of a godsend when the peloton split because I don’t think the whole peloton would have made it around there. Eventually on the lap when the peloton did catch up there were so many tired guys there that it worked out quite well,” Porte said.
“It was a spectacle today and all is well that ends well. If I’d known going into it how the stage was going to be, I would have been a lot more stressed than what I was. To be up there at the front in those gravel sections shows that my form is where it needs to be.”
Stage 2 will see the peloton ride 213,5km from Contres to Commentry.
“It’s typically a sprinter’s stage tomorrow so the most important thing for us is to avoid any splits and get the riders across the line safely,” BMC Racing Team Sports Director Fabio Baldato said.
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