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"I am happy with Tiago Machado, who showed a good time and Alexander Kristoff, who proved he is in good form. Sergei Chernetckii is not far at all, so all the main things are still ahead."

Photo: Muscat Municipality/Paumer/B.Bade

ALEXANDER KRISTOFF

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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PARIS - NICE

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TIAGO MACHADO

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08.03.2015 @ 18:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The first of 8 stages in the 73rd Paris – Nice race took place on Sunday with a 6,7 km opening prologue in Maurepas. The quick effort against the clock provided the first stage winner with Michal Kwiatkowski, current world road champion, taking the win and the first yellow jersey as race leader. The strongest performance from Team Katusha came from Tiago Machado, 20-seconds off the pace for 24th place. Machado’s climbing skills will come into play later in the week when the race hits the mountains on Thursday’s stage 4.

 

"Such a short prologue is not our specialty, so we did not expect any big results today. I am happy with Tiago Machado, who showed a good time and Alexander Kristoff, who proved he is in good form. Sergei Chernetckii is not far at all, so all the main things are still ahead. We have a strong team here in Paris - Nice and we will fight in every stage both in the sprints and the mountains," said team director Dmitry Konyshev.

 

With a time of 7.40, the Poland national time trial champion Kwiatkowski beat Rohan Dennis (BMC) on the same time and teammate Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick Step) by seven seconds. 

 

Known as the “Race to the Sun” with the race traveling from northern France to southern Nice over the course of a week, today’s opener had plenty of sunshine of its own with warm temperatures and dry roads on the non-technical course for the 160 riders taking to the start house in Maurepas.

 

Stage 1 on Monday brings the first road stage and it looks like a great opportunity for the sprinters to have their day. At 196,5 km the stage begins in Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse and ends in Contres. An early categorized climb should provide the jumping off point for the day’s break but then a regrouping at the end could provide a mass sprint. Watch for Team Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff to be in the hunt for an early stage win at Paris-Nice.

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