Viviani takes yellow jersey at Paris-Nice

German rider Marcel Kittel wins the second stage edging a sprint finish against overall race leader Elia Viviani.

    Viviani takes yellow jersey at Paris-Nice
    Stage winner Kittel completed the 200.5km flat trek from Vimory to Cerilly in 5 hours, 42 minutes, 18 seconds [AFP]

    Germany's Marcel Kittel won the second stage of the Paris-Nice race, a 200.5km ride from Vimory to Cerilly, on Tuesday.

    However, the overall lead is held by Italian Elia Viviani, who benefited from overnight leader French champion Nacer Bouhanni crashing out of the race when he came to grief 58km from the finish and suffered a mouth injury.

    "He has a split lip, and maybe a damaged tooth, he is also complaining of a sore arm," his team sporting director Frank Pineau told France Television, adding he had been taken to hospital in nearby Bourges.

    The 24-year-old Kittel - who counts a stage win on the Tour of Spain in 2011 amongst his honours - overtook four riders, including Viviani, to take the stage in a sprint finish.

    Viviani finished second with Australian Leigh Howard taking the final place on the podium.

    Big win

    "I am very happy to have had this opportunity," said Kittel.

    "After the first stage, I was very disappointed not to have a chance to win because I had a puncture about 10km from the finish.

    "It's important for me to win a race on the WorldTour and also to do it so early in the season but it is probably the last chance for me to win on this year's Paris-Nice," he added.

    Viviani has a seven second lead to protect over Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel with compatriot Damien Gaudin third overall and a further second adrift.

    "It gives me great satisfaction to have the yellow jersey which was my objective," enthused Viviani.

    "I didn't win the stage but Kittel was very strong, too strong for me today.

    "I've taken a look at the profile for the next stage and it's going to be difficult to retain the jersey but I have a good team and I'm going to try my best."

    Stage three features a 170.5km ride from Chatel-Guyon to Brioude and includes a category two climb just 15km from the finish.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.