Boonen Wins Stage 1 of Paris-Nice
Tom Boonen (Quick Step) has won Stage 1 of Paris-Nice. The world champion became the first world champion to win a stage of Paris-Nice in 25 years when he bested Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros) and Francisco Ventoso (Saunier Duval) to win the rolling, 193-km ride from Villemandeur to St-Amand-Montrond in 4:56:01. Boonen, who began the stage 0:05 behind race leader Bobby Julich (CSC), took the yellow jersey from the defending champion.
The stage was ridden in the cold, and initially, it was ridden slowly. Boonen was so uncomfortable that he asked the race officials to shorten the stage, but they refused. David Zabriskie (CSC) made an early escape and led by 7:40 at
Laurent attacked Auge, but Auge got back on. With six km left, the peloton caught the break. Quick Step led the field into the sprint.
According to CSC directeur sportif Bjarne Riis, the race is going according to plan. ?It went according to plan today,? Riis said. ?As expected, Quick Step had ambitions for Tom Boonen to win the stage and the jersey, and this means that we can leave it up to the sprinters? teams to keep the peloton together and instead try to control the race as far as rivals for the overall victory are concerned.?
In the overall, Boonen leads Julich by 0:07 and Andrei Kashechkin (Liberty Seguros) by 0:08. Stage 3 will create some but not much movement in the standings. The 200-km run from Cerilly to Belleville will feature six categorized climbs. Who will prevail? How will the standings change? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!