Shortened Paris - Nice Stage 1 underway

Credit Agricole will not go all out to defend yellow

After yesterday’s prologue, the first stage of the Paris – Nice road race has been shortened due the stormy weather currently battering north western Europe. 

The stage was due to cover the 184.5km from Amilly to Nevers but unusually gusty conditions have caused the organisers to move the start around 100km  south. The riders finally  got underway in rainy conditions from the village of La Chapelotte in the Cher department at 14.43 local time (13.43GMT).

And with just 90km to ride, the stage is bound to be quick. Credit Agricole directeur sportif Serge Beucherie claimed just before the off that his team “will not be fighting tooth and claw to defend Thor Hushovd’s yellow jersey,” suggesting that with so much hard riding ahead he could not ask his riders to mount such a defence so early in proceedings.

With a strong possibility of the 160 strong peloton arriving en masse at the foot of today’s final climb, Beucherie tipped Gilbert, Nocentini, Fedrigo and Chavanel as potential stage victors.

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