French national champion Nacer Bouhanni of FDJ has won Stage 1 of Paris-Nice following a scrappy and closely fought sprint in Nemours, crossing the line just ahead of the Italian pair of Alessandro Petacchi of Lampre Merida and Cannondale's Elia Viviani.
Bouhanni had started the day 10 seconds behind race leader Damien Gaudin of Europcar, winner of yesterday's Prologue. However, Bouhanni clawed that time back through a 10-second bonus for winning the stage today and takes over the yellow jersey on countback.
Missing from the finale was Argos Shimano sprinter Marcel Kittel, who suffered a mechanical problem, the German finding himself in a second group on the road, including big names such as Tom Boonen, that formed when the peloton split as the pace rose inside the closing 20 kilometres.
By that time the day’s break, which got away early in the 195 kilometre stage from Saint-Germain-en-Laye, had been swept up, comprising Yannick Talabardon of Sojasun, Euskaltel’s Romain Sicard and Jan Lindeman of Vacansoleil-DCM.
More to follow
Paris-Nice Stage 1 result 1. BOUHANNI Nacer FDJ 04h 47' 24'' 2. PETACCHI Alessandro LAMPRE - MERIDA All at same time 3. VIVIANI Elia CANNONDALE 4. DEBUSSCHERE Jens LOTTO-BELISOL 5. HAUSSLER Heinrich IAM CYCLING 6. RENSHAW Mark BLANCO PRO CYCLING TEAM 7. ROJAS Jose Joaquin MOVISTAR TEAM 8. HOWARD Leigh ORICA GREENEDGE 9. BOZIC Borut ASTANA PRO TEAM 10. FEILLU Romain VACANSOLEIL-DCM 11. MAES Nikolas OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 12. CHAVANEL Sylvain OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 13. OSS Daniel BMC RACING TEAM 14. TURGOT Sébastien TEAM EUROPCAR 15. HUTAROVICH Yauheni AG2R LA MONDIALE 16. LEMOINE Cyril SOJASUN 17. HINAULT Sébastien IAM CYCLING 18. PINEAU Jérôme OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 19. PEREZ MORENO Ruben EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI 20. GALLOPIN Tony RADIOSHACK LEOPARD Overall standings after Stage 1 1. BOUHANNI Nacer FDJ 04h 51' 01'' 2. GAUDIN Damien TEAM EUROPCAR + 00' 00'' 3. CHAVANEL Sylvain OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP + 00' 01'' 4. WESTRA Lieuwe VACANSOLEIL-DCM + 00' 01'' 5. VIVIANI Elia CANNONDALE + 00' 01'' 6. PETACCHI Alessandro LAMPRE - MERIDA + 00' 02'' 7. KELDERMAN Wilco BLANCO PRO CYCLING TEAM + 00' 02'' 8. SOUPE GEOFFREY FDJ + 00' 02'' 9. VELITS Peter OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP + 00' 03'' 10. GALLOPIN Tony RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 00' 03''
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.