Paris-Nice (st. 2)
Catalan rider -quite attentive at first two bunch sprints, 19th today- becomes leader of Under-26 competition after calm day for Movistar Team riders on stage two.
Dylan Groenewegen (TLJ) easily won stage two of the 2018 Paris-Nice race, the Dutchman finding no opposition over the uphill sprint in Vierzon after a 187km stage with really slow speeds in the early phase -just over 33kph into the first three hours, because of the headwinds from the start-. The pace only picked up into the second half, with some strong breaks with Arnaud Démare’s Groupama-FDJ squad took big efforts to keep on a leash.
The Movistar Team walked onto the podium after stage two thanks to Marc Soler, really focused on not losing time on finishes less suited to his condition. His 19th place today, combined with 24th on Sunday, allows the Catalan climber taking over the lead in the Under-26 classification as best young rider. Marc is also 12th in the GC, 15″ behind Démare, with the same time of his team-mate Richard Carapaz, who completed the day without any incidents as the rest of the Blues.
The ‘Course to the Sun’ will continue to head south on Tuesday’s long stage three –210km towards Châtel-Guyon-, with the climb of Charbonnières (Cat-3), just 20k before the end, making it harder for the fastmen to get another shot at the win.
Picture (c): Roberto Bettini / BettiniPhoto.net