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"Brad rode well but I think he was expecting more from the himself. He told me he felt good. I think if the stage was longer he could have moved up and done something but for this short stage it's not a bad performance."

Photo: Sirotti








08.03.2015 @ 19:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Geraint Thomas led the Team Sky charge at Paris-Nice as the Welshman claimed a top 10 finish in the opening prologue.


The race kicked off with a 6.7-kilometre blast around Maurepas and Thomas's time of seven minutes and 54 seconds was enough to propel him to 10th, 14 seconds back on stage winner Michal Kwiatkowski.


Former race winners Bradley Wiggins and Richie Porte finished level on time, one second further back in 12th and 13th respectively.


It all added up to a solid start for Thomas and Porte, who positioned themselves firmly in the mix as they look to put together general classification campaigns in the next week.


Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step) moved into a slender race lead after edging out Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) by just three tenths of a second.


That was enough to give the Pole the victory over a stacked field of time trial talent, with his team-mate Tony Martin coming home third.



World champion Wiggins was the final Team Sky rider down the ramp and was resplendent in the rainbow jersey, in addition to being followed by a special Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe.


Earlier Tiago Machado (Katusha) laid down an early benchmark of eight minutes flat, before Dennis was the first man to break that barrier, putting in a time of 7:40. Around that time Christian Knees also laid down an impressive time, good enough for 37th, just 25 seconds back.



Sports Director Nicolas Portal talked through the opening test and the team's collective performance.


"Richie did a really good time trial. It was a fast and relatively flat course, where Richie is really in climber mode right now so he did a great job there. G did a great job too. He was a bit disappointed because he missed a corner. He lost one or two seconds there. Not enough to win the stage but it would have got him a bit higher. Both he and Richie are really motivated right now.


"Brad rode well but I think he was expecting more from the himself. He told me he felt good. I think if the stage was longer he could have moved up and done something but for this short stage it's not a bad performance. I got to drive the beautiful Jaguar behind him with the world champion's stickers. That was a really nice experience for sure.


"All the guys did well today and we had no issues. Christian also pulled out a nice ride today. There is a lot of racing to go and we're looking forward to it."



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