- - Paris-Nice 2024 Stage 2

Paris-Nice 2024 Stage 2

photo credits @ Paris-Nice

Perfectly led out by veteran Matteo Trentin, Arvid de Kleijn (Tudor) upset the favorites to win the 179-km second stage of Paris-Nice in Montargis on Monday. The 2023 Milan-Turin winner surged in the final stretch to narrowly beat New Zealand’s Laurence Pithie, who took the race leader’s yellow and white jersey away from Dutchman Olav Kooij, never in contention in the finale. Another Dutchman, Dylan Groenewegen (Team AlUla) was third. France’s Mathieu Burgaudeau took advantage of the two climbs of the day to take the polka-dot jersey away from Germany’s Jonas Rutsch (EF-Easypost).

Race Highlights

Jonas Rutsch (EF-Easypost) and Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies), the two leading riders in the KOM classification, attacked from the flag to tackle the first climb of the day from the front. The bunch gave them the go-ahead and they were leading by more than three minutes after 10 km. At the top of Côte des Mesnuls, Rutsch beat Burgaudeau to add three points to his tally. The pair then waited for the pack and the break was over after 15 km.

Burgaudeau conquers polka-dot

Seeing that the pack was riding at a leisurely pace (32.4 kph in the first hour), Pascal Eenkhoorn (Lotto Dstny) decided to attack at kilometer 25. But he only stayed at the front for 15km before being reeled in. On the second and last ascent of the day, Cote de Villeconin, TotalEnergies used the perfect tactics to topple Rutsch, sending Burgaudeau and Pierre Latour upfront to collect six points and four points respectively while the German had to be content with two. The move put Burgaudeau 15 points ahead of the EF-Easypost rider on 13. The Frenchman was also awarded the most aggressive rider prize for the stage.

Pedersen back on Kooij

The peloton then took it relatively easy until the intermediate sprint of the day in Puiseaux (Km 131.9), whose bonus seconds spurred the pack into reaction. A minor crash involved Steff Cras (TotalEnergies), Gianni Moscon (Soudal Quck-Step) and Donavan Grondin (Arkea), but they were unhurt. The sprint was won by Danny van Poppel (Bora-Hasngrohe) ahead of Mads Pedersen, who picked four seconds and found himself level on GC time with Olav Kooij. Mattias Skjelmose (also Lidl-Trek) was third.

De Kleijn wins bunch sprint

The stage was set for a bunch sprint and the pack slowly raised the tempo. With 16km to go, Madis Mikhels, 5th in Les Mureaux, crashed but was quickly back on his bike. Lukasz Owsian Arkea-B&B) also hit the tarmac with 10 km to go. While the sprinters’ trains were battling it out for positions in the finale, the Tudor teammates of Arvid de Kleijn took the reins and perfectly led Arvid de Kleijn for the best result of his career. Hopeful Pithie had to be content with second place after being third yesterday, but consistency paid and he will tackle Tuesday’s team time trial with the yellow and white jersey on his back.

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