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Paris-Nice 2017 Stage 1

Paris-Nice 2017 - 05/03/2017 - Etape 1 - Bois d'Arcy / Bois d'Arcy (148,5km) - Arnaud DEMARE (FDJ) et Julian ALAPHLIPPE (QUICK - STEP FLOORS) - Un final au sprint

photo credits @ Le Tour

Arnaud Demare (FDJ) Proved too strong for compatriot Julian Alaphilippe (QuickStep), after winning the opening stage of Paris-Nice in a sprint finish in Bois D’Arcy today.

The Finale 

André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) were both dropped during the final two kilometers, at which time Alaphilippe made launched his move during the final 1,500 meters along an uphill section that only Démare was able to follow.

Damage led out the sprint against his QuickStep rival and maintained his position on the left of the barriers to hold off Alaphilippe’s challenge, taking his third win of the season.  

Race Highlights

Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Romain Hardy (Fortuneo-Vital Concept), Gatis Smukulis (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) and Kristin Koren (Cannondale-Drapac), marked the day’s first breakaway group – subsequently establishing an advantage of six minutes over the peloton after with 40 kilometers of racing. 

At that point however, FDJ decided to exploit the crosswinds, which served to split the race into several groups, with the first group of 22 chasers containing sprinters such as Greipel, Kittel and Alexandre Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) but also GC riders like Sergio Henao (Team Sky) and Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors).

Further back were pre-race favorites, Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Richie Porte (BMC), Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale).

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The lead chasers eventually caught the breakaway group, creating a new lead of 26 riders. And, despite the efforts of the second group being led Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) and Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo), they were unable to mount a strong enough response to bridge the gap.

With 5 kilometers remaining, the lead group had stretched their advantage to 45 seconds.

However, what look to be an inevitable sprint finale, began to unravel when Kittel was dropped along the final rise inside the last two kilometers, while Greipel suffered a similar fate.

As the road continued to kick upwards, Alaphilippe attacked, leaving the young French rider to battle it out against Démare.

Meanwhile, Kristoff took the sprint for third place ahead of Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors).

Henao and Martin both finished in the Kristoff group, nine seconds behind the race winners, but 38 seconds ahead of Porte, Bardet and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin).

Contador and Yates finished a further 17 seconds in arrears.

Paris-Nice 2017 - 05/03/2017 - Etape 1 - Bois d'Arcy / Bois d'Arcy (148,5km) - Arnaud DEMARE (FDJ) - Avec le maillot Jaune

Stage 1 Results
FRA 1 DEMARE, Arnaud (FDJ) 3:22:43
FRA 2 ALAPHILIPPE, Julian (QUICK – STEP FLOORS)
NOR 3 KRISTOFF, Alexander (KATUSHA ALPECIN) + 9
BEL 4 GILBERT, Philippe Marc Jacky (QUICK – STEP FLOORS)
FRA 5 HARDY, Romain (FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT)
IRL 6 MARTIN, Daniel (QUICK – STEP FLOORS)
FRA 7 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL)
AUT 8 HALLER, Marco (KATUSHA ALPECIN)
COL 9 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY)
FRA 10 MOLARD, Rudy (FDJ)
SLO 11 KOREN, Kristijan (CANNONDALE DRAPAC) + 19
ESP 12 SOLER GIMENEZ, Marc (MOVISTAR)
GER 13 GREIPEL, André (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 37
BEL 14 LAMPAERT, Yves (QUICK – STEP FLOORS)
ITA 15 GUARNIERI, Jacopo (FDJ)
AUS 16 PORTE, Richie (BMC RACING) + 47
FRA 17 BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
RUS 18 ZAKARIN, Ilnur (KATUSHA ALPECIN)
BEL 19 WALLAYS, Jelle (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 52
FRA 20 BARGUIL, Warren (SUNWEB) + 1:03
ESP 21 CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 1:04
ITA 22 FORMOLO, Davide (CANNONDALE DRAPAC)
ESP 23 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Jon (BAHRAIN – MERIDA)

General Classification after Stage 1
FRA 1 DEMARE, Arnaud (FDJ) 3:22:33
FRA 2 ALAPHILIPPE, Julian (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) + 4
NOR 3 KRISTOFF, Alexander (KATUSHA ALPECIN) + 15
BEL 4 GILBERT, Philippe Marc Jacky (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) + 16
FRA 5 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 17
FRA 6 HARDY, Romain (FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT) + 18
IRL 7 MARTIN, Daniel (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) + 19
AUT 8 HALLER, Marco (KATUSHA ALPECIN)
COL 9 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY)
FRA 10 MOLARD, Rudy (FDJ)

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