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Paris - Nice 2015: Prologue

“The Race to the Sun” starts off today with a 6.7km prologue. Hello and welcome to our live coverage.

Paris-Nice has started! Right now our best time is Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin) at 8:04.

Today’s prologue is a city course with sharp turns but mostly flat. We are in Maurepas, south-west of Paris.

28 riders have finished so far, and van Barrle still leads.

Who do we expect to win today? Well, Bradley Wiggins of Sky – are there any other candidates? Tony Martin, possibly, but he only said that he hopes to do his best today. Such short courses aren’t really his strength.

It is a lovely sunny day today.

 

Second best time now is for Australia champion Heinrich Haussler (IAM), who is 4 seconds slower than van Baarle. 

 

Imanol Erviti (Movistar) has now moved into second place, with a time of 8:06.

Adam Hansen, a real fan favourite, is on the course now.

 

Tiago Machado of Katusha, has just put in a new best time, of exactly 8:00. 

 

And Giacomo Nizzolo of Trek had moved ahead of van Baarle as well, at 8:02.

 

Daniel McClay of Bretagne-Seche was the first off, at 13:35, and he put in a time of 8:40.

Dayer Quintana, the younger brother of Giro d'Italia winner Nairo, has started off on the course.

World hour record holder Rohan Dennis of BMC is riding now.

Looks like Dennis will smash the time here as well!

He comes in at 7:40.36 -- more than 20 seconds faster than Machado!

 Alexander Kristoff of Katusha is now underway. He has 4 wins already this season -- but not in time trials.

95 riders still to go.

 

Ben King of Garmindale passes under the flamme rouge on his way to the finish line.

 

King is now fourth, at 8:03.95

 

Kristoff is wearing what look to be "glow in the dark" yellow booties. Would be helpful on foggy days...

He comes in at 8:06.

 

All of the riders are going off at one-minute intervals today.

We now see Luis Leon Sanchez, riding for Astana. The team faces an uncertain future, with a hearing at the UCI Licencing committee coming up later this month.

There are groups of fans along the way, all cheering furiously for every rider who comes along.

We are halfway done! 80 riders have started.

Luis Leon Sanchez is the next to break the 8 minute mark. He crosses the line in 7:50, giving him second place at the moment, still 10 seconds slower than Dennis.

Lots of fast men underway now. Ruben Fernandez of Movistar is now third, at 8:00.39.

In other news, there are some stories that just never seem to go away. Like Servais Knaven and allegations of doping and Team Sky supporting him.

7:58,91 for Tom-Jelte Slagter of Cannondale-Garmin, giving him third.

 

Nicolas Roche has less than 3 km to go. We expect his teammate Wiggins to win here. 

 

Here are our standings at the moment: 

1 Rohan Dennis (BMC) 7:40

2 Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) +0:10

3 Tom-Jelte Slagter (Cannondale-Garmin) +0:18

4 Ruben Fernandez (Movistar) +0:20

5 Tiago Machado (Katusha) +0:20

8:17 for Roche, and no top finish.

 

The Tour de Langkawi has had to change its course and take out the Genting Highlands mountaintop finish. This makes some teams, including MTN-Qhubeka, not real happy.

 

 Lampre's Ruben Plaza has now taken over third place, 16 seconds slower than Dennis.

Tom Boonen is underway in the sunshine.

 

He finishes in a time of 8:05.

 

Next up? Richie Porte of Sky. He may well be looking at the overall title here.

 

Porte is the Australian national TT champion, so he is sporting white kit with the yellow and green stripes. 

 

Porte is really going all out here!

 

He is in the final km now. 

 

A great time for Porte: 7:54.42, which puts him third at the moment, only 15:06 behind Dennis.

 

And Lars Boom prompty takes over third with a time of 7:50.

 

Another fast man, Tony Martin, is now on the course. 

 

Martin is wearing his German national champion's jersey.

 

Jack Bauer has taken over fifth place, 16 seconds down.

 

Martin enters the final km. There are no intermediate times here, so we don't know how well he is going. 

 

Only second place for Martin, who crosses the line at 7:47.45, which is 7:09 down. Not bad, though, since he prefers the longer time trials.

 

A good time for Lotto's Greg Henderson, at just over the 8 minute mark.

 

Bradley Wiggins will be taking off soon, and as Team Sky tells us, "There's a special Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe following him in today's prologue. He's also got custom Pinarello.com colours and new Rapha kit."

Sprinter John Degenkolb shows his time trial qualities by taking over fifth place, 10 seconds down. 

 

Dennis still leads and this would be a massive coup for the hour record holder if he can hold off Wiggins.

Michał Kwiatkowski is out on the route too. He doesn't have the smoothest style but it's effective as he leaps from the saddle as he crests a small ridge. Talanksy is coming to the finish now and he settles for 28th, 25 seconds down on Dennis.

Thomas meanwhile finished 8th and Jungles puts in a decent ride to finish in 14th position.

1km to go for the road world champion but no time checks at this stage. He's certainly giving it everything as he cuts through a corner using a perfect apex.

Michał Kwiatkowski winds up for a sprint to the line. He comes over the line and takes the lead by .031 seconds. Impressive ride from the Pole.

Dumoulin will be coming through soon. The worlds medalist is out on the road and riding well.

And now Bradley Wiggins rolls down the start ramp in his Worlds skinsuit. He wasnt able to win the TT at the Tour of Qatar but this will be an indicator of his form as he prepares for Roubaix and then the Hour Record.

Gallopin crosses the line in 14th place as we see Wiggins out of the saddle in the early stages of his time trial. Now he's back on his TT bars.

A reminder of our top ten riders to watch for Paris-Nice, is right here.

Chavanel is coming up to the line and he receives a huge cheer from the French crowd. He's not going to trouble the five, 7th, 10 seconds down on Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step).

Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step) is in the hot seat and says that he's really happy with his performance. No surprise in that but the fact he's beaten Martin is a slight shock, although Martin hasn't got the best record in prologues. The German is more of a deisel and takes a bit more time to warm up.

Van Garderen is out on the course and on one of the slight drags that litter the course. It will be interesting to see how he measures up against Dennis with both riders in protected roles for this year's race.

Dumoulin is about to hit the line but it's not a great time. 9th , 13 seconds down on the Etixx leader.

Wiggins is coming to the line but he's not going to do it either.

Wiggins 11th, 15 seconds and behind Porte and Thomas.

Van Garderen comes to the line with a sprint, 11th 14 seconds down on Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step).

Peraud is still out there on the course.

Rui Costa comes to the line but the result is all but certain.

Peraud comes to the line in a time of 8:01. 26th place and 21 seconds off the time of Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step).

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:07:40
2 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team
3 Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:07
4 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:10
5 Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team
6 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
7 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling
8 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:12
9 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:13
10 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:14

A fine result from the road world champion, winning ahead of four of the top five in last year's Worlds time trial.

Thanks for joining us today. You can find our report, results, and photos from today's action, right here. We'll be back tomorrow with more racing from Paris-Nice.

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