Cycling

Gaudin wins Paris-Nice prologue

2013-03-03 18:42
Damien Gaudin (AFP)

Houilles - Frenchman Damien Gaudin, riding for Europcar, won Sunday's Paris-Nice prologue, a 2.9km time trial around Houilles west of Paris.

Gaudin, a three-time French national pursuit champion, bagged the yellow jersey after seeing off compatriot Sylvain Chavanel by 0.56sec and Dutchman Lieuwe Westra as the 26-year-old garnered his first career win five years after turning professional.

Monday's first stage proper is a 195km ride from Saint-Germain-en-Laye to Nemours.

"I was fearful right down to the final moment and shaking when I saw Westra," admitted Gaudin, who finally held off the Dutchman by 0.65sec.

Up-and-coming Dutchman Wilco Kelderman, 21, was fourth at 2sec while US racer Tejay Van Garderen finished 11sec off the pace after a conservative showing on an urban route with plenty of sharp bends.

Belgium's Maxime Monfort, a potential contender for the overall Paris-Nice crown, meanwhile had a nightmare start as he lost 40sec after crashing on a bend.

Results from Sunday's Paris-Nice prologue, a 2.9km time trial around Houilles west of Paris:

1. Damien Gaudin (FRA/EUC) 2.9km in 3min 37sec

2. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/OPQ) at 01sec

3. Lieuwe Westra (NED/VAC) 01

4. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BLA) 02

5. Geoffrey Soupe (FRA/FDJ) 02

6. Peter Velits (SVK/OPQ) 03

7. Tony Gallopin (FRA/RSH) 03

8. Borut Bozic (SLO/AST) 03

9. Sebastien Turgot (FRA/EUC) 04

10. Andriy Grivko (UKR/AST) 05

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