New Zealand's Greg Henderson of the Sky team won a sprint finish on Monday to take the second stage of the Paris-Nice. Belgian Thomas de Gendt of Vacansoleil holds the leader's jellow jersey after the 199km run from Montfort-l'Amaury, west of Paris, to Amilly in central France. Henderson, already winner of the first sprint last year, clocked 5:00:56 to finish just ahead of Australia's Matthew Goss and Russia's Denis Galimzyanov.
"It was a very fast sprint at the end of a very tiring and nervy day," said Henderson. "Thankfully I could count on Geraint Thomas, he has this capacity to spark the sprint. It was a long sprint but feeling victory within my grasp gave me wings."
And Henderson added that he was next bidding to take the overall leader's jersey as he bids to earn a place on the Tour de France team. "The next stage? I'm going to try and go after the yellow jersey," said Henderson, who is four seconds behind de Gendt in the overall standings. "My objective is the Tour de France, I'm hoping to race it this year unlike last year. We have an impressive team so it's hard to win a place."
The race was hit by several falls, notably to Luxembourg's Frank Schleck and Australia's Heinrich Haussler, which were not serious. France climber David Moncoutie was forced out of the race with a knee injury.
Paris-Nice Stage 2: Montfort-l'Amaury to Amilly, 199km
1. Greg Henderson (NZL/SKY) 5:00:56 (average: 39.7 km/h)
2. Matthew Goss (AUS/THR) @ s.t
3. Denis Galimzyanov (RUS/KAT)
4. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/GRM)
5. Peter Sagan (SVK/LIQ)
6. Romain Feillu (FRA/VAC)
7. Jurgen Roelandts (BEL/OLO)
8. Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP/GCE)
9. Tomas Vaitkus (LTU/AST)
10. Danilo Wyss (SUI/BMC)
General Classification After Stage 2
1. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/VAC) 9:05:48
2. Greg Henderson (NZL/SKY) @ 0:04
3. Jeremy Roy (FRA/FDJ) @ 0:07
4. Matthew Goss (AUS/THR) @ 0:08
5. Tony Gallopin (FRA/COF) @ s.t.
6. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/GRM) @ 0:10
7. Denis Galimzyanov (RUS/KAT) @ s.t.
8. Jens Voigt (GER/LEO) @ 0:12
9. Romain Feillu (FRA/VAC) @ 0:13
10. Peter Sagan (SVK/LIQ) @ 0:14