After Monday’s adverse weather, the controversy continued in the 2016 edition of Paris-Nice on Tuesday as French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) was relegated after engaging in a shoving match with Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) during the final sprint.
Matthews was awarded the victory, his second of the race after winning the opening prologue, to extend his overall lead. Bouhanni was relegated to third place, behind Matthews and second-placed Niccolo Bonifazio (Trek-Segafredo).
Earlier in the race, Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) had collided with a spectator, fracturing his collarbone and abandoning the race.
The majority of the day, however, was relatively incident-free with a four-man escape group shaping much of the racing. All were swept up as the race hit 12km to go.
Wednesday’s stage three from Cusset to Mont Brouilly offers much hillier terrain, with seven classified climbs, including the three-kilometre, second category climb of Mont Brouilly, which averages at 7.7 per cent gradient and is tackled twice.