Paris-Nice 2012 stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

Bradley Wiggins rode in to the yellow jersey in Paris-Nice on Monday after the race split to pieces in the crosswinds. Tom Boonen won the stage, comfortably taking the sprint from a lead group of 20 riders.

Wiggins was in the lead group when it formed as crosswinds and rain hit the peloton on the narrow, exposed roads south west of Paris, leaving it in several echelons.

As the lead group pushed on, the groups behind came together to reform two pelotons, but despite having greater numbers they continued to lose ground. The yellow jersey of Gustav Larsson was stranded in the first bunch with last year’s winner Tony Martin, while Andy Schleck was even further back.

Lying in second place overall by just one second, Wiggins obviously didn’t want to leave it down to just the winning margin. With 45km still to go the Briton contested and won the intermediate sprint in Neuvill-Aux-Bois – ahead of Alejandro Valverde –  to take the three bonus seconds on offer.

But he needn’t have worried, although Wiggins only had fellow Brit Geraint Thomas for company, the rest of the group worked as Omega Pharma-QuickStep had Boonen there for the stage win and Leipheimer in third overall. BMC put their efforts behind Tejay Van Garderen who moved up to fourth overall after the stage.

Only towards the end did the group lose some cohesiveness, leaving Wiggins on the front doing huge turns. Even then the peloton weren’t making any real inroads, and eventually the winning margin crept out to two minutes and 29 seconds.

Barring any mishaps, it looks like the winner of the race will come from today’s lead group, and Wiggins and Leipheimer are in prime position. Tony Martin is now 2-56 mins behind Wiggins, while Andy Schleck is 12-01 minutes behind.

Thomas moves up to ninth place overall, 28 seconds behind Wiggins.

Results

Paris-Nice 2012, stage two: Mantes-la-Jolie to Orléans 185.5km

1. Tom Boonen (Bel) OmegaPharma Quick Step 4-22-15hrs


2. Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar

3. John Degenkolb (Ger) Project 1T4i

4. Sep Vanmarcke (Ned) Garmin-Barracuda

5. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana

6. Angel Vicioso (Spa) Katusha

7. Maxine Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan

8. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC

9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar

10. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky all at same time



Overall classification after stage two

1. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky 4-33-32


2. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 6 secs

3. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 7 secs

4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 11 secs

5. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 14 secs

6. Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan at 18 secs

7. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC at 21 secs

8. Lieuw Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 22 secs

9. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky at 28 secs

10. Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar 29 secs





Levi Leipheimer heads the escape group





Bradley Wiggins winds up the pace of the break





Tom Boonen takes the stage win





Bradley Wiggins takes the race lead

Paris-Nice 2012: Latest news



Andy Schleck off pace in Paris-Nice time trial



Paris-Nice 2012: Who will win?



Froome to miss Paris-Nice due to illness



Wiggins for Paris-Nice; Cavendish for Tirreno-Adriatico

Paris-Nice 2012: Race preview and information



Paris-Nice 2012: The Big Preview

Paris-Nice 2012: Stage reports



Stage two: Wiggins rides into lead



Stage one: Wiggins second to Larsson in opening time trial

Paris-Nice 2012: Photo galleries



Stage two gallery by Graham Watson



Stage one gallery by Graham Watson

Related links



Bradley Wiggins: Rider Profile

  • Guy

    They were struggling to hold his wheel in places when he ramped up the watts.

  • mikey g

    Well done Wiggo..go..go..go!

  • dai bananas brother

    Great race, even better result, least said about the presentation the better, Put it this way, Dai and the dog are not catching the rerun, there’s more to be gained by tuning in to ‘Pobol y Cwm’ where Britt is due to attack the ‘Felin Thief’ with a flat iron in an attempt to defend herself. Dai’s missus can think of someone she’d like to attack with a flat iron but fortunately she has discovered the mute button. Hwyl Geraint bach!!

  • waldo

    if the tdf was starting this week wiggo would win it the shape he is in

  • redballoon

    f****** Brilliant

  • Sheldon

    CLASS

  • arronski

    Wiggo is on fire this season, looks a different rider this year, good to see him at the point keeping out of trouble in tricky conditions.