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Mads Pedersen takes Paris-Nice lead after sprinting to win on stage two

Dane Mads Pedersen took the win on Stage 2 of Paris Nice, which also propelled him into the GC lead as well. The Trek-Segafredo rider beat Olav Kooij and Magnus Cort for the day’s podium. Brit Dan McLay was 4th for Arkéa-Samsic. Yesterday’s stage winner Tim Merlier finished down in 14th place today.

The teams had identified a roundabout with 1km to go as the crucial point on today’s stage. With a watching brief in place just in case the wind caused any echelon troubles. The leadouts had a tough job and coming out of the roundabout, Jumbo-Visma were best placed but carrying a passenger in Pedersen. When Kooij opened up his sprint, Pedersen was able to respond and come through to the line. It’s the Dane’s second win of the year after winning the TT at Etoile des Besseges earlier in the year.

Tadej Pogacar picked up some more bonus seconds, to go with his handful from Stage 1. That means the Slovenian is only 2″ behind Pedersen in the GC standings but also 12″ ahead of most of the peloton now.

“It’s nice to start the season well and Paris-Nice is a really nice race, so of course it’s nice to get a win. It was really hectic. We had 10k’s full straight and then a roundabout at the end, but the team did really well keeping us out of problems.

Yeah that’s really nice. Never tried that before in a race like this, so it’ll be nice for the TTT. We’re here with [Mathias] Skejmose to do the TT, so it’s really important tomorrow to do a good team time trial for him, so full focus for tomorrow.”

Mads Pedersen

2023 Paris Nice Stage 2 result

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Main photo credit: Sprint Cycling Agency