Paris-Nice (st. 1)
Soler, Carapaz into short GC group in Meudon after crash before cobbled finish, 2km from the end – no Blues affected.
A really tight, four-way sprint against the likes of Gorka Izagirre (TBM), Laporte (COF) and Wellens (LTS) awarded Arnaud Démare (FDJ) the win in Meudon, end of the 135km stage one in the 2018 Paris-Nice. Covered almost entirely on wet roads, the route saw the Movistar Team riders staying away from all trouble, including a crash with 2.5km from the finish which caused significant time losses -not neutralised, as the race regulations stated that today’s finish, an uphill, cobbled one, would not follow the 3km rule-.
Marc Soler and Richard Carapaz entered a top split of just over thirty riders, 2″ behind the fastest competitors, in a finish where Carlos Barbero took 12th place. The Eusebio Unzué-managed squad will have another difficult day to face on Tuesday -187.5km between Orsonville and Vierzon-, the second of three stages leading up to Wednesday’s ITT in Saint-Étienne, where the GC should start to get sorted out.
Picture 2 (c): Roberto Bettini / BettiniPhoto.net