The weather became a key factor in this stage: cold, rain and strong cross wind transformed the race into a tough challenge for everybody.
- A really tough stage. Besides the low temperatures and the rain, the wind did this race even harder. It was a bad luck for us today. In a moment when the cross wind provoked echelons in the peloton and it was crucial to be in the right place in the group, one by one our leaders got a few punctures. Later, we tried to come back in the race, but the groups in front worked really hard, pulling for 100%, so it was impossible to do something on this wind. When we realized that the general classification is over we stopped chasing saving the energy for the next stages. Indeed, it was not our best day, but the whole race is still lying ahead. We still have some goals we would like to reach in this race, so we need to change our strategy and keep on fighting, - explained team sports manager Dmitriy Fofonov.
The winner of the first stage became French rider Arnaud Demare.
Tomorrow will be held the second stage of the Paris-Nice: 195 km from Rochefort-en-Yvelines to Amilly
Photo credit: © Bettiniphoto