Simon Yates#039s hopes of winning Paris-Nice were dashed when the Briton was o...
FILE PHOTO: Cycling - The 104th Tour de France cycling race - The 189.5-km Stage 15 from Laissac-Severac l'Eglise to Le Puy-en-Velay, France - July 16, 2017 - Orica-Scott rider Simon Yates of Britain, wearing the white jersey for best young rider, in action. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
PARIS (Reuters) - Simon Yates’s hopes of winning Paris-Nice were dashed when the Briton was one of the casualties in a windswept second stage won by Dylan Groenewegen on Monday.
Brutal crosswinds repeatedly split the peloton on the 165.5-km stretch from Les Breviaires to Bellegarde with Vuelta a Espana champion Yates losing almost seven minutes.
A crash after 59kms took Spain’s Gorka Izagirre out, as well as Warren Barguil, with the Frenchman being taken to a hospital for a scan after losing consciousness.
They were only 23 riders left — including overall contenders Romain Bardet, Nairo Quintana and Bob Jungels — in the front group some 30kms from the finish line.
A late split meant that only seven riders contested the final sprint, with Dutchman Groenewegen prevailing again after Sunday’s opening win to strengthen his overall lead to 12 seconds.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge