Once again I have scoured the web for a few tid-bits that you may not have heard on the usual English speaking sites with regards to the World Tour race Paris-Nice currently cutting its way through central France. As Tirreno Adriatico begins today I will try to incorporate the odd bit of continental gossip from that race too. As the Italians are renowned as being a passionate lot, I’m sure the press won’t disappoint us when it comes to the news and gossip they produce.
Stage 2 : Vimory-Cerilly 200.5km
Many news sites have reported that the leader of the race and stage 1 winner Bouhanni took a pretty serious tumble with 60km to go. As we discovered yesterday Bouhanni was a bit of a boxer before he took up cycling, but I’m sure he’s never taken a blow to the face like the one he experienced after his wheels slid from under him.
Take a look at the video.
The man with a pretty impressive quiff who won stage 2 of Paris –Nice was the German sprinter Marcel Kittel (ARG). A quick look at the news over on a popular French site didn’t really bring any interesting quotes from him but the French journalist who was reporting the race sure had a way of describing the Argos-Shimano rider, “Kittel, with a chest like a Norman Cupboard (what ever one of those are) and a mouth ready to swallow clouds..”(the French sure have a way with words).
Kittel said he had aimed for the stage win as he feels the rest of the stages are not suitable for a sprinter. He now plans on using the race as training for his next main aim, the Hanzame Classic on March 15th.
Over on a Belgium site they had a little bit from World Champion, Phillipe Gilbert. Currently sitting in 30th place overall claims he is at Paris-Nice for his team captain, Tejay van Garderen. During an interview at the end of stage 2 Gilbert said his job along with team mates was to try and force an echelon at about 70km to go, due to the wind cutting across the peloton. Doing this they hoped to cause havoc and break the field up a bit to contest the stage win.
Phil was also quoted as saying that he is using Paris-Nice as training for his Classics campaign, although if the chance of a stage win arises he will defiantly put the effort in so make sure you keep watching.
Back over to the French press and a certain ex-doper and French housewives favourite, Richard Virenque has teamed up with his old sponsor Festina and will be appearing in several adverts for the watch company. It makes me wonder if the boss of Festina Miguel Rodriguez has a bad memory as the Festina scandal really couldn’t have helped his company’s sales at the time of the scandal. When asked why he had got Richard back on board to appear in the adverts, Miguel replied “Festina have been faithful to cycling, we have sponsored the timing at the TDF for over 20 years”. Quite a surprise I think you’d agree.