Thu, 10 Mar 2005

From: Reuters

Boonen takes yellow jersey in Paris-Nice

THIERS, France: Belgian rider Tom Boonen seized the leader's yellow jersey in the Paris-Nice on Tuesday after sprinting to his second consecutive stage win.

On a stage shortened from 191 to 46.5 kilometers because of bad weather over central France, Boonen tamed Denmark's Kurt-Asle Arvesen and Ukraine's Jaroslav Popovych who finished second and third respectively.

In the absence of the Italian specialists like Mario Cipollini and Alessandro Pettachi or former world champion Oscar Freire, Boonen looked in a class of his own on the final sprint as he took the yellow jersey from Dutchman Erik Dekker.

The short distance of the stage meant there was no room for any breakaways, with all the riders finishing in the bunch. --Reuters