Mads Pedersen wins the stage and takes the yellow jersey

Mads Pedersen wins the stage and takes the yellow jersey

Mads Pedersen with the yellow jersey. ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP

On the second stage of the event, the Danish rider crossed the line first at Fontainebleau and took the opportunity to become overall leader.

Dane Mads Pedersen won the second stage of Paris-Nice in the sprint on Monday at Fontainebleau after 163.7 km, at the same time taking on the leader’s yellow jersey. It’s the second victory of the year for the Dane, the 29th overall, and also his second on the “race in the sun» after a stage won in 2022. «It bodes well for the season. It’s a great race, it’s great to win here, the sprint was very nervous, I was brought perfectly until the end. It was very tight at the end and I’m glad I made it“, commented the one who also won the time trial this year on the Etoile de Bessèges.

He won ahead of Dutchman Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) and his compatriot Magnus Cort (EF Education) after a disjointed last kilometer marked by a fall just before the red flame. Like the day before, Tadej Pogacar took six bonus seconds in the intermediate sprint.

The distinctive fourth jersey, the white of the best young rider, went to a rider who we sometimes forget is still only 24 years old, his record is already overflowing everywhere. This is obviously Tadej Pogacar, double winner of the Tour de France in 2020 and 2021, who continued his harvest on Monday by pocketing, like the day before, the six bonus seconds in the intermediate sprint.

Second overall, two seconds behind Pedersen, he is now twelve seconds ahead of Dane Jonas Vingegaard. As if he wanted to get a little ahead of his great rival who had stripped him of his crown in the last Tour de France and who will start as the favorite with his Jumbo-Visma team on Tuesday in the unprecedented team time trial. concocted by the organizers. Rather than taking the time on the fourth or fifth runner, the clock will be stopped as soon as the first runner has passed after the 32.2 kilometers of effort around Dampierre-en-Burly, in Loiret.

While most riders feel this shouldn’t be a game-changer, the new formula could favor a team as powerful as Jumbo-Visma which will also field Tobias Foss and Rohan Dennis, the current and former reigning World Champion of the stopwatch. The stage will pass a few kilometers from the Dampierre-en-Burly nuclear power plant on a day when opponents of the pension reform will want to put the “France at a standstill“.

The day of mobilization already has a slight impact on Paris-Nice since the starting order has been modified, with an interval of three minutes between each formation instead of the five planned, “in order to facilitate the work of the forces of order which will be widely solicited“, said the organizers.

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