Michal Kwiatkowski maintains overall race lead after stage two of Paris-Nice; Geraint Thomas 10th
Photos by Graham Watson
Having been out of the previous day’s finale, Greipel made amends with a strong sprint to take the stage win ahead of Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) in third.
Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) retained the overall race lead, tied on time with second-placed Rohan Dennis (BMC). Degenkolb moves up to third thanks to his bonus seconds, now just two seconds adrift of Kwiatkowski. Geraint Thomas (Sky) retains his 10th position overall, at 13 seconds.
Bradley Wiggins (Sky) dropped from 12th overall to 99th after coming home in a group 27 seconds down on Greipel.
Arnaud Gérard (Bretagne Séché Environnement) was the day’s lonely breakaway, and was allowed to gain a significant gap over the peloton whilst posing little in the way of a threat to either the overall classification or the stage win. He was eventually swept up with just over 35 kilometres still to go.
There was then a calm period until the final 10 kilometres. Just as the sprinters teams had started to form up their trains, Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) launched an unexpected attack – an odd move given that his team-mate Kwiatkowski is in the race lead.
Martin was joined quickly by Thomas, Lars Boom (Astana) and Matti Breschel (Tinkoff-Saxo), although Breschel dropped off the pace soon after. The remaining trio was caught with 1.5 kilometres to go as Orica-GreenEdge set the pace of the peloton.
Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) was a non-starter after dislocating his shoulder during Monday’s stage, an injury which also rules him out of the forthcoming Spring Classics.
Paris-Nice 2015, stage two: ZooParc de Beauval – Saint-Aignan to Saint-Amand-Montrond, 172km
1. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal in 4-30-18
2. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
3. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
4. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
5. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar
6. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
7. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
8. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
9. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
10. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida all same time
Overall classification after stage two
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx-QuickStep in 9-53-16
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at same time
3. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin at 2 secs
4. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx-QuickStep at 7 secs
5. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 9 secs
6. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana at 10 secs
7. Lars Boom (Ned) Astana at 10 secs
8. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling at 10 secs
9. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 13 secs
10. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky at 13 secs