Paris-Nice Stage 2: French toast Bonnet victory
Drama in closing kilometre as crash claims Dan Martin among others
French cycling fans got to celebrate a home win in Limoges this afternoon as William Bonnet of BBox Bouygues Telecom caught Liquigas rider Peter Sagan on the line to win Stage 2 of Paris-Nice. Luis-Leon Sanchez of Liquigas, last year’s overall winner, came third.
With the peloton strung out in a difficult approach to the finish line, there was drama when a nasty crash took down several riders as they prepared to make their final assault to try and win the stage, including Dan Martin of Garmin-Transitions and Jimmy Casper of Saur Sojasun.
Cyril Gautier of BBox had reached the day’s last climb on his own, getting 15 seconds ahead of the peloton with 10 kilometres to go, but with HTC-Columbia, Liquigas and Saur Sojasun all forcing the pace, he was caught with 4 kilometres left.
An earlier four-man break featuring Mauro Finetto of Liquigas, Jens Mouris of Vacansoleil, the Saur Sojasun rider Laurent Mangel and Koen de Kort from Skil Shimano which had got away early in the 201-kilometre stage from Contres was neve allowed to build more than a 4 minute or so lead on the peloton, with the last rider swept up inside the closing 20 kilometres.
Lars Boom of Rabobank, who won Sunday’s prologue, retains the race leader’s yellow jersey.