Max Schachmann wins a Brutally Wet and Windy opening stage of Paris-Nice

Schachmann outsprinted his breakaway companions Alaphilippe, Benoot and Teuns in very difficult racing conditions

The out-and-back stage in Plaisir is 154 kilometres long. Normally a bunch sprint finish would have been the most likely outcome, yet a sharp and cobbled climb in the finale animated the race.

With 13 km to go Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) and Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb) now lead the regrouped main pack by 35 seconds.

They hit the late cobbled climb of Neauphle-le-Chatea with 6 km to go. Behind Dylan Teuns and Max Shackmann attacked to join Alaphilippe and Benoot with 3.6 km to go. to go and Alaphilippe and Benoot hit the cobbles with 22 secs lead, behind Dylan Teuns and Max Shackmann attacked and joined Alaphilippe and Benoot with 3.6 km to go. 2 km to go and Schachmann put in an attack from the leading four riders, Tiesj Benoot attacked with 1 km to go

Max Schachmann won the final sprint from the leading four riders, led out by Dylan Teuns, behind Julian Alaphilippe faded just before the line.

How It Happened

At the start of the stage, Hivert and Combaud built up a lead five minutes lead over the peloton. With strong cross winds and rain the 8C temperatures were freezing.

The stron winds split the peloton, Richie Porte (Trek Segafredo) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) were the first to get caught out. So were Pierre Latour (AG2R) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), along with Porte Porte (Trek-Segafredo), they are 30 seconds behind the main pack.

94 km to go and the group comprising Porte, Latour, Martin and De Gendt made it back on the rest of the peloton.80 km to go and breakaway leaders Combaud and Hivert were caught by the peloton, gruppo compacto. 

67 km to go and Warren Barguil and Romain Bardet crashed, Bardet didn't get up straight away. Warrren Barguil got back on his bike again, but was way off the back of the race.

50 km to and sixteen riders went away in the cross winds including Nikias Arndt, Tiesj Benoot, Cees Bol, Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb), Julian Alaphilippe, Kasper Asgreen, Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Nairo Quintana, Connor Swift (Arkea-Samsic), Olivier Le Gac, Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ), Felix Grosschartner, Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis), Krists Neilands (Israel-Start Up Nation)Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels)

A chase group of 30 riders formed, including: Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling)

Alaphilippe and Benoot attacked with 26 km to go out of the lead group of 16 riders.Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) and Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb) lead the regrouped main peloton by 35 seconds 13km to go and Alaphilippe and Benoot are still leading the chasing pack in pouring rain by 30 seconds. The Bardet group were two minutes adrift. Alaphilippe and Benoot hit the climb of Neauphle-le-Chatea with 6 km to go. to go and Alaphilippe and Benoot hit the cobbles with 22 secs lead. Behind Dylan Teuns and Max Shackmann attacked and joined Alaphilippe and Benoot with 3.6 km to go. 2 km to go and Schachmann put in an attack from the leading four riders. Tiesj Benoot attacked with 1 km to go

Max Schachmann said afterwards, "I'm so happy with this victory. Actually, things worked out a bit better for me because in the tailwind, there was a traffic island in the middle and I found myself on the left, so I entered the crosswind nearly last. I managed to make it back step by step and I'd like to thank the team for their work. In one moment, Peter helped me and really saved me and in the finale, Felix did a fantastic job. It was the first really hard race for me and coming here I didn't know what my form was. My legs felt a bit painful in the finale but I could see the other struggling even more, so that gave me confidence. I'm very happy to bring home this victory for BORA-hansgrohe. I had a good start to the season, I missed a stage in Algarve by a few centimetres, so it's nice to win here. Being the overall leader is a great feeling and a responsibility but we'll certainly do our best, we have a very good team here."

VIDEO: 2020 Paris-Nice Stage 1 Highlights

2020 Paris-Nice Stage 1 Top 10

1 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 3:32:19
2 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain McLaren 3:32:19
3 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb 3:32:19
4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep 3:32:22
5 Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb 3:32:34
6 Nils Politt (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation 3:32:34
7 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling 3:32:34
8 Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling 3:32:34
9 Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 3:32:34
10 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep 3:32:34

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