Paris-Nice (st. 2)
Spaniard keeps usual regularity to take 10th in Saint-Georges behind winner Moreno Hofland (BEL); climbs into 6th overall, 14 seconds behind Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ)
Again a nervous day, again with crashes and again coming down to a sprint. The 72nd edition of Paris-Nice is enjoying almost summer weather and featured unexpected gentle winds in the 205km stage two on Monday, through the Bourgogne plains from Rambouillet to Saint-Georges-sur-Baulche. Moreno Hofland (BEL) claimed a slightly uphill bunch kick as the last of the day’s escapees, Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM), was caught with 3k to go after dropping his companion Anthony Delaplace (BSE).
The Movistar Team, led by the expert Imanol Erviti and Iván Gutiérrez, protected their hopes for the hardest days all the way to the finish, the Izagirre Brothers and Herrada calm into the front after a tumultuous finish in Mantes on Sunday. Also José Joaquín Rojas was helped to keep his chances alive for the sprint; however, the Murcian had to overtake several riders after difficult positioning in the finale and could only manage to be 10th at the mass sprint. As well Gadret as the Izagirres (+21″ GC) came into a first split, seven seconds after the top sprinters, with Rojas now sitting in 6th place overall, 14 seconds adrift from Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ).
The race development should be quite the same tomorrow (180km) on the flat route from Toucy to the Magny Cours raceway in Nevers.