I remember racing against Greg a couple years ago in a local race called Scotty’s Race. It’s a memorial race held for Scotty Peoples, a promising young rider whose life was cut short while he was out training. Crosswinds were causing havoc and there was a strong field in contention. Greg was by far the strongest and it made me appreciate just how superbe of a rider he actually is (and let’s be honest – he wasn’t even on form). From my race report:
About six attacks in the howling crosswinds managed to shed everyone except 12 of us. I was feeling pretty good still so I decided to have a dig when it looked like everyone was tiring. I hit the group right after a move was brought back during a lull and no one followed except for Henderson. He caught up with me as I was going balls out and came around and said “okay, let’s go”. Oh man! What did I get myself into? We still had 40km to go and I was going as hard as I possibly could. There was no way I could keep this pace up while Henderson was clearly within his comfort zone. I was punching way above my weight!
Anyway, enough about my race exploits and name dropping. Here’s how stage 2 of Paris-Nice panned out:
Thomas De Gendt starting and finishing the day in yellow
A break formed almost immediately with Maxime Bouet (AG2R), Yoann Offredo (FDJ) and Tony Gallopin (Cofidis) with both Gallopin and Ofredo passing through their hometowns.
Interesting happenings with a level crossing in the middle of the race (from cyclingnews):
The peloton actually caught up with Gallopin and Bouet at the level crossing but race officials allowed the two to start 45 seconds ahead of the peloton to re-establish their original gap. The peloton tried to set off a little early and swarmed around the race director’s car but Gallopin and Bouet also used the slipstream of the race motorbikes to get going again.
The break eventually ran out of steam after 166km when Gallopin sat up. A few kilometres later Bouet eased up too, leaving the peloton all back together with just over 30km to race.
I don’t know what it is, but I love listening to French commentary during a race. I can hardly understand a thing, but it’s music to my ears. Notice how Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM) gets nudged out into the barriers while trying to come through the inside (right of screen).
Stage 2 Results
1 Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Procycling 5:00:56
2 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad
3 Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha Team
4 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo
5 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
6 Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
7 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
8 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
9 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Pro Team Astana
10 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
General classification after stage 2
1 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 9:05:48
2 Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Procycling 0:00:04
3 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ 0:00:07
4 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:00:08
5 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
6 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:10
7 Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha Team
8 Jens Voigt (Ger) Leopard Trek 0:00:12
9 Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:13
10 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:14