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Nizzolo timed his sprint to perfection to secure a first Paris-Nice stage win for his African team.
The stage win had looked likely to go to Bora Hansgrohe and Pascal Ackermann, with the German being led out by Peter Sagan from a small lead group. But Ackermann ran out of gas as the line approached and was overhauled by Nizzolo.
Nailbiting finish as Nizzolo trumps Ackermann in Stage 2 sprint
On a day of terrible weather conditions south of Paris, the race was a nervy one. While the tricky weather meant that the peloton would not allow a significant break to go up the road, it was crosswinds that proved the crucial factor in the closing stages, with gaps opening up inside the final 20km.
A significant group containing a number of General Classification hopefuls opened up a sizeable advantage of over half a minute, and Nizzolo was among that number, with Ackermann finishing second and Jesper Stuyven in third.
Maximilian Schachmann of Bora retains the overall lead of the eight-stage race, with Nizzolo moving into second place at 15 seconds behind.
Nairo Quintana helped by his brother after untimely crash at Paris-Nice
One other significant development on the stage saw Nairo Quintana, who has enjoyed a strong start to his season, suffer an untimely crash with just 25km remaining. The Colombian was straight back up and on to the bike of his team-mate and brother Dayer Quintana, but the pace of the race was high and, with the crosswinds causing problems, he was unable to overhaul the time gap created by the crash, crossing the line one minute and 25 seconds back in a group that also contained Julian Alaphilippe.
The stage was also notable for a lack of fans following advice from ASO after the French Government banned large crowds at sporting events due to fears over the coronavirus. Fans were not allowed near the team buses at the start in Chevreuse, while riders have also been asked by organisers to avoid taking selfies with fans and giving autographs.
Nizzolo 'really happy' after 'stressful' Stage 2 win
Stage 2 results
- 1 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling 3:49:57
- 2 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
- 3 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
- 4 Nils Politt (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
- 5 Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling
- 6 Mads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Israel Start-Up Nation
- 7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:03
- 8 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
- 9 Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
- 10 Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Start-Up Nation