Britain's Simon Yates struggles on second stage of Paris-Nice 2019 as Dylan Groenewegen claims victory

Simon Yates
Simon Yates

Britain's Simon Yates suffered a disastrous second stage of Paris-Nice 2019 as Dylan Groenewegen claimed another sprint victory.

Vuelta a Espana champion Yates lost almost seven minutes on a windswept 163.5km stretch between Les Breviaires and Bellegarde.

Brutal crosswinds repeatedly split the peloton and Spain's Gorka Izagirre and French rider Warren Barguil were taken out by a crash after 59km.

Barguil's Arkea-Samsic team said the 27-year-old, who won the mountain classification in the 2017 Tour de France, suffered a broken neck and was to be transferred to a specialised unit at the Bicetre hospital in Paris.

There were only 23 riders left - including overall contenders Romain Bardet, Nairo Quintana and Bob Jungels - in the front group some 30km from the finish line.

But a late split saw seven riders contest the final sprint with the Netherlands' Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) beating Ivan Garcia (Bahrain-Merida) and Philippe Gilbert (Deceeninck-Quick-Step) to the line.

The front group also included Egan Bernal and Michal Kwiatkowski (both Team Sky), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott).

Groenewegen's second sprint win as many days was his fourth victory of the year, and retains his 12-second lead over Kwiatkowski heading into the 200km flat stage between Cepoy and Moulins on Tuesday.

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