Friday, March 31, 2023

Tim Merlier wins the opening day of Paris-Nice with a very active Tadej Pogacar

With all the authority, Tim Merlier (Soudal-Quick Step) won the exciting stage of the 2023 Paris-Nice. After riding 169.4km around La Verrière, the Belgian runner prevailed over the Irishman Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) and the Danish Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo).

In the final kilometers Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) tried to stop the huge arrival, but Ionas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) went out on his wheel and finally broke away from the peloton.

For his part, the only Colombian in the competition, Daniel Felipe Martínez (Ineos Grandiers) came with the favorites in the main draw, wasting no time.

The first escapes of the 81st edition of the “Carrera del Sol” were completed by the Frenchman Paul Ourselin (TotalEnergie) and the Danish Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X), but they were distinguished entering the extreme stage at the beginning of the day.

With 40 kilometers to go, Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates took over the narrow streets of Paris, where Ourselin and Gregaard were captured. Then came several attacks, which produced Tadej Pogacar.

On the steep Cote de Milon-la-Chapelle it was Neilson Powless who was strapped to his wheel with Tadej Pogacar. The Slovenes took a while, making a split in the peloton. A group of 27 was released, including Jonas Vingegaard, Sam Bennett and Arnaud Démare. Just before the tie, Jupiter decided to attack again, but the faster teams quickly regained control.

Then in the Cote des Dix-Sept Tournants, Pogacar jumped again and took a good six seconds in the sprint, then Soudal took a quick step to close the gap in the last three kilometers. Florian Sénéchal tried to surprise from close range, but Bora-Hansgrohe closed the gap, however, Sam Bennett could not complete the job of his teammates as Tim Merlier passed him in the stretch, taking the fourth minute of the period.

The French will continue to debate this Monday with the second stage, starting on a flat day of 163.7 kilometers in Bazainville and reaching Fontainebleau, on paper another piece of school entertainment.

Paris-Nicaea 2023 (2.UWT)
Results of stage 1 | La Verriere – La Verriere (169.4 km)

1 Tim MerlierSoudal – Quick Step3:50:522 Sam BennettBora – Hansgrohe,,3 Mads PedersenTrek – Segafredo,,4 Olav KooijJumbo-Visma,,5 Arnaud De LieLotto Dstny,,6 Michael MatthewsTeam Jayco AlUla,,7 Bryan CoquardCofidis,,8 Ivan Garcia CurtainMovistar Team,,9 Kaden GrovesAlpecin-Deceuninck,,67 Daniel Philippus MartinezIneos Grenadiers,,

Tim Merlier, first leader of Paris-Nicaea 2023. (Photo © Soudal – Quick Step)

General ranking

1 Tim MerlierSoudal – Velox Step3:50:422 Sam BennettBORA – hansgrohe0:043 Tadej PogačarUAE Team Emirates,,4 Mads PedersenTrek – Segafredo0:065 Pierre LatourTotalEnergies,,6 Dorian GodonAG2R Citroë Lien D Arn0:087 Olav KooijJumbo:-087 Olav KooijJumbo- ,,9 Michael MatthewsTeam Jayco AlUla,,67 Daniel Felipe MartínezIneos Grenadiers
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