Henderson wins Paris-Nice stage 2.
Sky doing jack!
Greg Henderson (Team Sky) won the mass, everybody go! sprint in Amilly after a text-book lead-out from teammate Geraint Thomas.
Director Sportif Shaun Yates admitted his boys “didn’t do jack shit” in last year’s Tour de France but they’ve been jacking it up big time this season. This is already the team’s fourth sprint win and the train is working just fine, thanks.
Henderson won by a bike length with Matthew Goss second, Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) third, Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo) fourth, Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) fifth and everybody else in the race sixth or worse, numerically speaking.
“We were waiting and waiting and then he went with 500 meters to go. I went early at about 250-300 meters but I hung on all the way to the line,” said Henderson.
“I was really motivated for this race because I knew that if I got close on each day I could take the yellow jersey. I’m a couple of seconds off but it’s always amazing to win races.”
The flat, nervous and windy stage was one for the sprinters but that didn’t stop a few riders from taking their shots. Tomas Vaitkus ramped it up for Astana boss Vinokourov but that move didn’t accomplish much besides splitting the peloton into three pieces.
The cool surprise was stage one winner Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil) jumping with 1.5 kilometers to go. Yeah, he dropped nine pounds for this season and you can drop plenty of riders when you skip the sausages and salami. However, HTC-Highroad and Sky slammed that door shut.
De Gendt still hangs onto the leader’s jersey by four seconds over Hendersen and another three over Jérémy Roy (FDJ). The Sunny Vacationers are taking no prisoners and they’re also happy they didn’t lose their Giro invite yesterday.
The Race to the Sun was almost a race to the hospital as several big names hit the deck thanks to wind and twisting roads. Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack), Fränk Schleck (Leopard Trek), Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo) and Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) all went down but survived serious injury.
David Moncoutié (Cofidis) had an apparent shoe problem which led to knee pains. Sadly, the Steaming Shoe Iron team of Geox-TMC was not in the race because Moncoutié could have consulted them about footwear.
Tomorrow’s stage three throws a five kilometer category 2 climb into the mix and finishes in Nuits Saint Georges, smack in the middle of the famed Burgundy wine region.
Somebody will be pouring an awesome grand cru and maybe it will be Sky’s Greg Henderson.