Wiggins leads Paris-Nice race

2012-03-05 17:59

Orleans, France - Belgium's Tom Boonen on Monday won the 185.5km second stage of the Paris-Nice classic in Orleans but Britain's Bradley Wiggins moved up from second to take the leader's yellow jersey.

Omega Pharma rider Boonen outsprinted 20 other riders to cross the line first, beating challengers including Spain's Alejandro Valverde, Americans Levi Leipheimer and Tejay Van Garderen, as well as French champion Sylvain Chavanel.

The leading group broke away with 80 kilometres to go on a wind-affected route and put nearly two-and-a-half minutes between themselves and the chasing pack.

Spain's Jose Joaquin Rojas and Germany's John Degenkolb were second and third behind experienced 31-year-old Boonen, a former world champion in 2005 who has won the Paris-Roubaix classic three times.

Sweden's Gustav Larsson had been in yellow after the first stage time-trial, with Wiggins second.

Britain's Olympic champion from the Team Sky outfit is now six seconds ahead of Leipheimer.

On Tuesday, the third stage takes the riders 194 kilometres from Vierzon to Vassiviere.

Provisional results and overall standings after the 185.5km second stage of the Paris - Nice on Monday:

1. Tom Boonen (Belgium / Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) 4:22:15" 2. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spain / Movistar) same time
3. John Degenkolb (Germany / Project 1t4i) 4. Sep Vanmarcke (Belgium / Garmin) 5. Francesco Gavazzi (Italy / Astana) 6. Angel Vicioso (Spain / Katusha) 7. Maxime Monfort (Belgium / RadioShack) 8. Taylor Phinney (U.S. / BMC Racing) 9. Alejandro Valverde (Spain / Movistar) 10. Geraint Thomas (Britain / Team Sky)

Overall standings:

1. Bradley Wiggins (Britain / Team Sky) 4:33:32" 2. Levi Leipheimer (U.S. / Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) +6" 3. Tom Boonen (Belgium / Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) +7" 4. Tejay Van Garderen (U.S. / BMC Racing) +11" 5. Sylvain Chavanel (France / Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) +14" 6. Maxime Monfort (Belgium / RadioShack) +18" 7. Taylor Phinney (U.S. / BMC Racing) +21" 8. Lieuwe Westra (Netherlands / Vacansoleil) +22" 9. Geraint Thomas (Britain / Team Sky) +28" 10. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spain / Movistar) +29"