After a first day in Yvelines, the peloton stayed in Ile-de-France, this Monday, for the 2nd stage of this Paris-Nice. 163.7 kilometers were on the program, without any major difficulty to face. Once again, it was necessary to be clever and resistant, as the nervousness was so strong in the peloton. Benjamin Thomas paid the price at the end of the stage, victim of a fall under the red flame, suffering from superficial wounds and a contusion of the gluteal muscle. On his side, Bryan Coquard, embarrassed in the final pack, came to get a 12th place. On the other hand, Alexis Renard got a nice 9th place.
Time trial for the team
Tomorrow, it's time for an exercise that hasn't taken place at Paris Nice since 1993: the team time trial. It will be 32.2 km long on flat roads around Dampierre-en-Burly. It will be the time of the first to arrive that will be counted, which will complicate the strategy.
Benjamin Thomas explains: "We will stay in a rather classical pattern, it will be in the last 3-4 kilometers that some riders will really sacrifice themselves, a bit like a sprint on the road. We will have to remain homogeneous all along the course". In order to prepare for this team time trial, the Cofidis riders met last Friday for tests on the Zolder circuit. So they are ready to tackle the exercise with seriousness and motivation!
Alain Deloeuil, team manager: "We prepared this time trial in the best possible way by going to Circuit Zolder to do a full-scale exercise. We wanted to give the team a chance to get used to this type of exercise. It's not going to make us win or lose, but it will allow us to define an order. Now we have to see, there is a big level on this Paris-Nice. The course is flat, there are only 3 turns, so it's made for the specialists who are going to send the watts. We hope that the weather will be nice and not dangerous with rain. It is already dangerous and nervous enough as it is. This day is an important test and we're going to focus on giving it our best shot."