March 08, 2005
Boonen takes stage, lead at Paris-Nice
Tom Boonen took another sprint finish, and the 10-second bonus for the win put him in the overall lead.
Riders transferred to Aigueperse, planned to be at 144.5 km, for the start, shortening the stage to just 46.5 km, which they covered in 53:51. Clearly, nobody wanted to stay out in the weather.
Wednesday's third stage, scheduled to include a first-category climb and finish at about 1000 m above sea level, may also be shortened. Update: In a members-only story at ThePaceline.com, Johan Bruyneel said tomorrow's stage is likely to include the two climbs (including the first-category Cote de Lavet) which are in the first 80 kms, then a 40-kilometer loop not on the scheduled course.
Today's top 10:
1. Boonen, QuickStep, 53:51
2. Kurt-Asle Arvesen, CSC, same time
3. Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery, same time
4. Vicente Reynes, Illes Balears, s.t.
5. Olaf Pollack, T-Mobile, s.t.
6. Erik Dekker, Rabobank, s.t.
7. Constantino Zaballa, Saunier Duval, s.t.
8. Jerome Pineau, Illes Balears, s.t.
9. Vladimir Gusev, CSC, s.t.
10. Alejandro Valverde, Illes Balears, s.t.
In the overall, CSC is lurking, with riders lying 3, 4, and 5:
1. Boonen, QuickStep 5:17:55
2. Erik Dekker, Rabobank, at :03
3. Kurt-Asle Arvesen, CSC, at :05
4. Vladimir Gusev, CSC, at :09
5. Jens Voigt, CSC, at :09
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