Elia Viviani (Cannondale) picked up enough bonus seconds to take over the yellow jersey at Paris-Nice after overnight leader Nacer Bouhanni crashed out.
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Italian aiming to wear points jersey into Nice
Donning the race leader’s jersey and retaining the lead in the points competition at the end of Stage 2 at Paris - Nice did not deliver Elia Viviani the level of satisfaction he desired.
The team Cannondale sprinter was aiming for the win en route to yellow but instead played bridesmaid to a dominant Marcel Kittel - who won the stage. Viviani holds the race lead by a mere seven seconds over a seemingly hungry Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) and while the ultimate goal is the points jersey, he’s not willing to give up yellow just yet.
"This morning I started with the ambition to take the stage and jersey [but could not]," Viviani told tuttobiciweb.it.
"I can just blame myself. I am happy with my performance so far. The sensations are good, I feel good and growing. Tomorrow I'll hold on to try to make a good sprint in the final.
This year’s race has already seen a marked improvement twelve months on from his last participation. In 2012, the best he could manage was fourth on Stage 6 while Viviani has already notched up results in the first few days. The 24-year-old begun seven-stage race with 11th in the prologue, third on Stage 2 before moving up into second in the third stage.
Viviani is yet to win a race this year but the Italian sprinter is reliable when it comes to securing victories throughout the season. The next stop following Paris-Nice will be the classics and while his finishing speed is amongst the best in the business, the stock of talent at Cannondale means the ‘Race to the Sun’ is a real chance for him to secure a protected role ahead of the one-day races.
"In view of the classics they are encouraging signs but now I want to focus only on the Paris-Nice. I will live for the day, aiming to bring the green jersey to Nice. I will run to score as much points as possible, both in the intermediate and final goal," he said.
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