Groenewegen wins in vicious wind, extends Paris-Nice lead


Bellegarde (France) (AFP)

Dutch sprinter Dylan Groenewegen extended his overall race lead at Paris-Nice on Monday winning a reduced sprint in a race marked by powerful crosswinds to the south of the French capital.

Groenewegen, 25, powered through a 50km/h gale to retain the yellow jersey, extending his lead to 12 seconds ahead of team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski.

Victory was clinched as he beat Spaniard Ivan Garcia and Belgium's Philippe Gilbert in a sprint finish after their leading group escaped the full impact of the crosswind.

Riders including France's Warren Barguil and Gorka Izagirre of Spain, who finished third last year, were forced to withdraw from the race following falls.

Tuesday's 200km third stage heads south on plains between the town of Cepoy and Moulins/Yzeure in the Auvergne region.

Stage 2 results:

1. Dylan Groenewegen (NED/JUM) 3hrs 14min 04sec, 2. Ivan Garcia Cortina (ESP/BAH) same time, 3. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/QST) s.t. 4. Matteo Trentin (ITA/MIT) s.t., 5. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/SKY) s.t. 6. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/AST) s.t., 7. Egan Bernal (COL/SKY) s.t., 8. Arnaud Démare (FRA/FDJ) at 5sec, 9. André Greipel (GER/ARK) s.t., 10. Mike Teunissen (NEF/JUM) s.t.

Overall standings after stage 2:

1. Dylan Groenewegen (NED/JUM) 6hrs 31mins 19sec, 2. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/SKY) at 12sec, 3. Luis León Sanchez (ESP/AST) 13, 4. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/QST) 16, 5. Egan Bernal (COL/SKY) 19, 6. Matteo Trentin (ITA/MIT) 20, 7. Tony Gallopin (FRA/ AG2R) 22, 8. Rudy Molard (FRA/FDJ) 23, 9 Romain Bardet (FRA/ AG2R) s.t, 10. Oliver Naesen (BEL/AG2R) 24