For 90 minutes, BMC's Rohan Dennis sat atop the leader board of the Paris-Nice prologue, looking at a possible multi-day stint in the race's yellow leader's jersey and an important result on his palmares. But when world road champion Michal Kwiatkowski came through at the finish of the 6.7km circuit he had relegated Dennis to second place by a mere 0.31 seconds. It was "the worst result" for the team, according to directeur sportif Yvon Ledanois.
"I think this would have been an important victory for the team today," Ledanois said. "Rohan and Tejay van Garderen and all the guys did a good job. But for the team, it is the worst result. If you have three, four or five seconds between first and second, that's OK. But we wanted this victory. So it is a big disappointment."
Dennis himself looked ahead to to the week, where he will be working for teammate Tejay van Garderen, and toward the final uphill time trial on the Col d'Eze.
"The goal the rest of the week is to try and find my legs and do as well as I possibly can for the team," Dennis said. "I am pretty sure Tejay has some good form after Oman. He has been looking at this race for awhile now."
Van Garderen is well positioned in the overall classification in 11th place, 14 seconds behind Kwiatkowski and Dennis, but said he felt bad for his teammate.
"I think today was a success," van Garderen said. "I feel bad for Rohan, missing out on such a narrow victory. That would have been a nice win for him. But as far as both of us are placed, we are right there with some of the GC (general classification) guys and we even put a lot of time into some of the contenders."