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Taylor Phinney and Tejay van Garderen were part of the decisive breakaway on Stage 2. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
Taylor Phinney and Tejay van Garderen were part of the decisive breakaway on Stage 2. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Paris-Nice, Stage 2: Phinney Eighth

5. March 2012

Orléans, France

BMC Racing Team's Taylor Phinney sprinted to eighth place Monday at Paris-Nice while teammate Tejay van Garderen held onto the Best Young Rider jersey. The two were part of a 21-rider breakaway group that finished nearly two-and-a-half minutes ahead of the peloton after strong crosswinds and rain cut the peloton into pieces.

Split At The Feed Zone

Phinney said the nasty conditions and hard work to keep the break in front sapped his strength for the sprint, which was won by Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). "When I came into the finish, I tried to give it a go, but I was absolutely empty," Phinney said. "I spent five minutes in the bus shivering and trying to get back to normal." Van Garderen held onto his fourth place overall, 11 seconds behind new race leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky Pro Cycling), while Phinney climbed to seventh, 21 seconds back. Van Garderen said the decisive split happened at the feed zone, the halfway point of the 185.5-kilometer race. "We were going fast and it was kind of like, it's happening now and whoever is here is here," he said. "It seems like a lot of guys weren't there. I was surprised – shocked, really. It was a brilliant move to be there and I have Taylor to thank big time for that one. He pretty much dragged me to the front. He's such a solid wheel to follow."

View photos from the stage here: flic.kr/s/aHsjz3yPca