Kittel Wins Paris-Nice Stage 2 As French Champion Bouhanni Crashes Out

Cerilly, France, March 5, 2013 (AFP) – Germany’s Marcel Kittel won the
second stage of the Paris-Nice race, a 200.5km ride from Vimory to Cerilly, on
Tuesday.

However, the overall lead is held by Italian Elia Viviani, who benefited
from overnight leader French champion Nacer Bouhanni crashing out of the race
when he came to grief 58km from the finish and suffered a mouth injury.

“He has a split lip, and maybe a damaged tooth, he is also complaining of a
sore arm,” his team sporting director Frank Pineau told France Television,
adding he had been taken to hospital in nearby Bourges.

The 24-year-old Kittel – who counts a stage win on the Tour of Spain in
2011 amongst his honours – overtook four riders, including Viviani, to take
the stage in a sprint finish.

Viviani finished second with Australian Leigh Howard taking the final place
on the podium.

“I am very happy to have had this opportunity,” said Kittel.

“After the first stage, I was very disappointed not to have a chance to win
because I had a puncture about 10km from the finish.

“It’s important for me to win a race on the WorldTour and also to do it so
early in the season but it is probably the last chance for me to win on this
year’s Paris-Nice,” he added.

Viviani has a seven second lead to protect over Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel
with compatriot Damien Gaudin third overall and a further second adrift.

“It gives me great satisfaction to have the yellow jersey which was my
objective,” enthused Viviani.

“I didn’t win the stage but Kittel was very strong, too strong for me today.

“I’ve taken a look at the profile for the next stage and it’s going to be
difficult to retain the jersey but I have a good team and I’m going to try my
best.”

Stage three features a 170.5km ride from Chatel-Guyon to Brioude and
includes a category two climb just 15km from the finish.

Results in the second stage of the
Paris-Nice cycle race, a 200.5km run from Vimory to Cerilly, on Tuesday:

Stage
1. Marcel Kittel (GER/Argos) 5hr 42min 18sec, 2. Elia Viviani (ITA/CAN)
same time, 3. Leigh Howard (AUS/ORI) s.t., 4. Borut Bozic (SLO/AST) s.t., 5.
Samuel Dumoulin (FRA/COF) s.t., 6. Gianni Meersman (BEL/OPQ) s.t., 7. Romain
Feillu (FRA/VAC) s.t., 8. Jens Debusschere (BEL/LTB) s.t., 9. Jose Joaquin
Rojas (ESP/MOV) s.t., 10. Tony Gallopin (FRA/RSH) s.t.

Overall
1. Elia Viviani (ITA/LIQ) 10hr 33min 11sec, 2. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/OPQ)
at 7sec, 3. Damien Gaudin (FRA/EUC) 8sec, 4. Lieuwe Westra (NED/VAC) 9sec, 5.
Alessandro Petacchi (ITA/LAM) 10sec, 6. Wilco Kelderman (NED/RAB) s.t., 7.
Geoffrey Soupe (FRA/FDJ) s.t., 8. Peter Velits (SVK/OPQ) 11, 9. Tony Gallopin
(FRA/RSH) s.t., 10. Borut Bozic (SLO/AST) s.t., 11. Sebastien Turgot (FRA/EUC)
12, 12. Gatis Smukulis (LAT/KAT) 13, 13. Andriy Grivko (UKR/AST) s.t., 14.
Jose Herrada (ESP/MOV) s.t., 15. Nikolas Maes (BEL/OPQ) s.t.

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