Dylan Groenewegen wins Paris Nice opening Stage decimated by Strong Winds
Groenewegen out-sprinted Caleb Ewan in tightly contested finale from Sprinters who made the final cut
Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) was an early victim at Paris-Nice, crashing out on stage 1 to Saint-Germain-en-Laye on Sunday. The Australian came into the French race looking to improve his form ahead of Milan-San Remo but was left on the deck on the first stage.
Wind winds hitting 45 kph, three riders escaped on the short 138 km opening around Saint-Germain-en-Laye. They were Romain Combaud (Delko Marseille), Amael Moinard (Arkea Samsic) and Damien Gaudin (Direct Energy). They built up a maximum lead of 3 m 30 s. But, tensions started to rise quickly because of the weather conditions and the trio was quickly swallowed by the pack.
The echeleons started and already sprinter like Cavendish were being dropped.
With 40 kilometres to, AG2r La Mondiale and Segafredo Trek cranked up the pace which decimated the pelton. Sergio Henao, Alexander Kristoff (Emirates UAE Team), Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain Merida) and Marc Soler (Movistar) were all out the back door.
Things calmed down and the peloton started re-group with Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha Alpecin) and Marc Soler (Movistar) getting back on.
In the intermediate sprints, leaders like Kwiatkowski, Luis Leon Sanchez, Molard and Bernal took the opportunity to take a few seconds of bonus.
In the last ten kilometers, Team Sky and Jumbo Visma put in an acceleration that will proved to be fatal to Marc Soler and Miguel Angel Lopez. The young Spaniard lost his title on the first day.
Despite an attack by Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck Quick-Step) with 2 kms to go, the remining peloton remained together for the final sprint.
In a closely contested sprint, Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo Visma) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) were neck to neck, the Australian tried to jump him in the last meters. Fabio Jakobsen took third place.
More to follow shortly on stage losers, which has yet to surface with small groups finishing minutes behind.
VIDEO: 2019 Paris Nice Stage 1 Finale
2019 Paris Nice Stage 1 Top 10
1 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 03:17:35
2 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
3 Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck-QuickStep
4 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
5 John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
6 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
7 Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 00:00:01
8 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 00:00:01
9 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel 00:00:01
10 Anthony Turgis (Fra) Direct Energie 00:00:01