Christophe Laporte leads Primoz Roglic and Wout van Aert as Jumbo-Visma dominates Stage 1 at Paris-Nice

A powerful act of demolition by the Jumbo-Visma team in the last kilometers delivered them to a rarely seen double on the opening stage of Paris-Nice. Christophe Laporte, who is only on his second outing since joining Cofidis, received the honor of stage victory, and with it the first yellow jersey of the race. The result gave favorite Primoz Roglic a significant advantage over his GC rivals in the Race to the Sun.

All on a stage that was originally presented as – and looked like – pure sprinters.

And while appearances are often somewhat deceiving, Stage 1 was certainly peppered with opportunities to take a reasonable lead in the King of the Mountains competition – and with it the first polka jersey. The total elevation gain for the day was recorded in the roadbook as a manageable, but not negligible, 1723 meters.

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Nevertheless, only two riders made a concerted effort to target the pea: Matt Holmes of Lotto Soudal and Aime De Gent (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux).

Holmes started first, a few kilometers from the official start, before being joined by De Gendt (not that one). With the peloton content to let them go, the duo quickly gained an advantage of more than a minute.

The Briton led the first official climb, the 1.8km, 5.8% steep Côte de Vétheuil, as the peloton pushed on, with the race covering the 37.38km in the first hour of racing.

Holmes again won the maximum three points, on the similarly shaped Crest Road Coast (category 3) before the wind picked up, creating the risk/opportunity for the rungs and waking up the peloton. This injection of momentum caused the duo’s advantage to fall precipitously and, 73 km from the end, the breakaway was absorbed by the peloton.

‘It’s crazy!’ – Laporte ecstatic after leading Jumbo domination at Paris-Nice

27 km later, an attack by Frederik Frison (Lotto Soudal) triggered a response from Yevgeniy Federov (Astana Qazaqstan) and Alexis Gougeard (B&B Hotels-KTM) and a second break of the day formed, and was authorized to establish a limited advance. Back in the peloton, a moment of inattention resulted in wheel contact, which caused the fall of several riders, and put an early end to the race for Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Through the first intermediate sprint point and on the 16.7km finish circuit, the trio held out for just over a minute on the peloton.

The first time under the kite gave us a taste of what the last mile would be like. In the second intermediate sprint, the breakaway held 30 seconds and the race seemed to be heading towards a “normal” final at Mantes-la-Ville.

That was until, on a long straight road, at 12.5 km, Jumbo-Visma took over at the front. Their first act of aggression was enough to bring the breed together. Their second blew it. With Nathan Van Hooydonck leading the race on exposed roads, the race stretched and quickly fell apart. The first notable victims to be bombed were Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) and Cees Bol (Team DSM) before we watched favorites Dylan Groenewegen (Team BikeExchange – Jayco) and Fabio Jakobsen (QuickStep AlphaVinyl) find themselves backing off and their chances of taking the stage victory go up in smoke.

On the last categorized climb, the Côte de Breuil-Bois-Robert, a tougher ride from Jumbo-Visma was enough to prepare for the stage victory. With 5km to go, it had turned into a team time trial, with new boy Laporte, Roglic and Wout van Aert, in his Red Bull helmet and Belgian national stripes, battling it out up front. to sew the race long before the finish line.

‘We are the strongest guys here’ – Roglic delighted with Jumbo’s brilliance at Paris-Nice

With 3 km to go, the trio traveled at 65 km/h and maintained a 15 second lead over the rest, while the remaining teams struggled to organize themselves. At 2 km it was up to 20 seconds. At the red flame, it was all over. Roglic motioned for Laporte to cross the line first and the three raised their arms in celebration together.

For Laporte, it was his first win in Jumbo colours, in his second race for the team.

“One kilometer from the finish they told me I would win the stage,” he said afterwards.

“Welcome in the team!” Rob Hatch exclaimed in Eurosport commentary as Laporte took the win.

Pierre Latour came home three seconds ahead of the peloton, who finished 19 seconds later. The bonus seconds for the first three places means that Jumbo-Visma does indeed control the general classification.

Laporte’s win also gave him the lead in the points competition, while Matt Holmes’ early efforts were rewarded with the King of the Mountains jersey. First youngster to cross the line, Biniam Girmay will wear the white jersey tomorrow.

“We had a long sprint to the top” – Van Aert on Jumbo’s dominance at Paris-Nice

Stage 1 – Top 10

1 – Christophe Laporte (Team Jumbo Visma) 3h 48m 28s
2 – Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo Visma),,
3 – Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo Visma) ,,
4 – Pierre Latour (Total Energies) +0:19s
5 – Mads Pedersen (Trek – Segafredo) +0:22s
6 – Biniam Girmay (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Materials) ,,
7 – Ivan García Cortina (Movistar Team),,
8 – Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious),,
9 – Jasper Philipsen (Trek – Segafredo) ,,
10 – Florian Senecha (Quick-Step AlphaVinyl Team) ,,

General classification – Top 10

1 – Christophe Laporte (Team Jumbo Visma) 3h 48m 28s
2 – Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo Visma) +0:04s
3 – Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo Visma) +0:06s
4 – Pierre Latour (Total Energies) +0:29s
5 – Mads Pedersen (Trek – Segafredo) +0:32s
6 – Biniam Girmay (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Materials) ,,
7 – Ivan García Cortina (Movistar Team),,
8 – Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious),,
9 – Jasper Philipsen (Trek – Segafredo) ,,
10 – Florian Sénéchal (Quick-Step AlphaVinyl Team) ,,

– – –

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