Tom Boonen Sprints to Stage 2 Victory in 2012 Paris-Nice

News & Results

03/5/2012| 0 comments
by Roadcycling.com
Tom Boonen is victorious in Paris-Nice. Photo copyright Tim de Waele.
Tom Boonen is victorious in Paris-Nice. Photo copyright Tim de Waele.

Tom Boonen Sprints to Stage 2 Victory in 2012 Paris-Nice

Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep's former World Champion Tom Boonen (Belgium) led a sprint finish to win the second stage of the 2012 Paris-Nice in France earlier today, and Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain took the overall race lead.

Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep's former World Champion Tom Boonen (Belgium) led a sprint finish to win the second stage of the 2012 Paris-Nice in France earlier today, and Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain took the overall race lead.

Boonen, who won his fourth Tour of Qatar title last month, edged Team Movistar's Jose Joaquin Rojas of Spain and John Degenkolb of Germany in the 115-mile ride from Mantes-la-Jolie to Orleans.

Wiggins took the lead from prologue winner Gustav Larson (Sweden/Vacansoleil) by jumping ahead of the Swede as part of a 22-man group that broke out of the main pack shortly after the midway point, taking advantage of today's windy racing conditions. Team Saxo Bank's Spaniard Daniel Navarro was later dropped from the breakaway group when a crash in front of him sent him back to the main peloton.

"Daniel (Navarro) was in the front group as he was supposed to be but as someone crashed right in front of him, he was held back. Once again, we're struck by bad luck that is practically impossible to do anything about. Now, he's out of the contest for at top ten result overall and the rest of the stages are not hard enough to be able to gain time," Team Saxo Bank sport director Tristan Hoffman told Roadcycling.com after the stage.

"First of all let me thank the team," Tom Boonen said after the stage and added "Levi Leipheimer, Sylvain Chavanel, and Nikolas Maes did a great job. They really put me in the best condition possible to launch my sprint."

Commenting on today's successful breakaway group and his current form Boonen told Roadcycling.com and Roadcycling.mobi "To be honest we had to suffer to enter in the breakaway. We were a little bit behind because of a roundabout. I had to pass two groups before entering in the first group. Then the race was really hard. Everybody was interested in riding and taking some time from the GC. It was also cold and windy. I really couldn't feel my hands. So far I'm happy about my choice to race Paris-Nice."

"First of all, it was no surprise to anyone that we had a crosswind," Omega Pharma-QuickStep sports director Brian Holm said. "The problem was when it would happen. We tried as much as possible to stay close to the front during the race. More or less in the feed zone, everybody split up. Nobody got their mussettes, their food bags. Twenty one riders got away, and we had four riders going into the sprint. We can't really complain about that."

"They were pretty horrible conditions out there. It was cold, there was some sleet and rain around too but most importantly Geraint [Thomas] and myself stayed safe in that front group and managed to take the [leader's] jersey." Wiggins said after being celebrated on the podium in Orleans.

"I'm in the shape of my life at the moment and that's thanks to the coaching team behind me who have pushed me hard all winter. They've never let up and the goal is the

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