• More carnage on Paris-Nice 2020 Stage 2 (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
So what does the general classification look like after another day of carnage at Paris-Nice 2020? Who is left standing after the race was ripped to shreds on Stage 2?
Cycling Central

10 Mar 2020 - 5:36 AM  UPDATED 10 Mar 2020 - 7:34 AM

They said it was a stage for the sprinters. For Stage 2 winner Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling), that was true.

"It was really stressful today as we didn’t expect the rain so it was even harder to have it," Nizzolo said.

"I’m feeling good since the beginning of the season. We had very good results with the team and they did a good job for me today.

"I knew Bora-Hansgrohe had to pull for the GC so I tried to save as much energy as I could and in the end, of course, Ackermann was the sprinter to watch and I took his wheel. I hope we can continue like this."

But for many of the GC favourites, their hopes now lie in tatters with Paris-Nice dishing up another serving of crash, mechanical and crosswind bloodshed.

First to feel the race's early spring wrath was Julian Alaphilippe who suffered a puncture less than 30kms from the finish.

Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) seemed home and hosed as he once again relished the crosswinds. Until he fell on the tarmac.

Swapping bikes with his slightly taller brother Dayer and despite later joining forces with Alaphilippe - and his power house Deceuninck-Quick Step team mates Kasper Asgreen, Yves Lampaert, Sam Bennett and Michael Mørkøv - Quintana and the Frenchman finished one minute and 25 seconds behind Nizzolo. 

France's other main hope, Thibaut Pinot, appeared destined not to repeat the same mistakes he made during last year's Tour de France 10th stage when he was caught out of position in the crosswinds. 

But Sagan and Bora-hansgrohe, with one eye on the general classification and the other on the finale, splintered the lead group in the final 11 kilometres to ensure Schachmann stayed in the yellow jersey, leaving Pinot 43 seconds in his wake.

While they could not get sprinter Pascal Ackermann over the line ahead of Nizzolo, the team's efforts strengthened their German GC leader's position ahead of major rivals Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling) and Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) who were also the day's biggest winners, the Italian drawing on support from the likes of world champion Mads Pedersen and February's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad victor Jasper Stuyven. 

"I really need to thank my team who helped me all day," Schachmann said. "It was hard as we didn’t expect the rain and in the end it was so hot… They brought me to the front a few times and then in the big action, Peter (Sagan) made such a huge effort to spit up the front group.

"We did a great job. It was a perfect situation and an even better situation for the GC I guess. But I saw EF Pro Cycling did a good job too as Sergio Higuita was there. In the mountain he will be one of the best competitors."

SBS' coverage continues with Paris-Nice 2020 Stage 3 LIVE on SBS and SBS On Demand from 00.40am AEDT Wedneday morning 11 March. 

Main GC contenders after Paris-Nice Stage 2

Max Schachmann
Sergio Higuita +23
Vincenzo Nibali +28
Thibaut Pinot +43
Julian Alaphilippe +1:32
Nairo Quintana +1:50