March 11, 2019 / 3:46 PM / a month ago

Cycling: Paris-Nice carnage continues as Groenewegen wins

FILE PHOTO: Cycling - The 104th Tour de France cycling race - The 189.5-km Stage 15 from Laissac-Severac l'Eglise to Le Puy-en-Velay, France - July 16, 2017 - Orica-Scott rider Simon Yates of Britain, wearing the white jersey for best young rider, in action. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - Simon Yates’s hopes of winning Paris-Nice were dashed when the Briton was one of the casualties in a windswept second stage won by Dylan Groenewegen on Monday.

Brutal crosswinds repeatedly split the peloton on the 165.5-km stretch from Les Breviaires to Bellegarde and Vuelta a Espana champion Yates lost almost seven minutes.

A crash after 59kms took Spain’s Gorka Izagirre out, as well as Warren Barguil, with the Frenchman being taken to a hospital for a scan after losing consciousness.

His Arkea-Samsic team said the 27-year-old, who won the mountain classification in the 2017 Tour de France, suffered a broken neck.

They were only 23 riders left — including overall contenders Romain Bardet, Nairo Quintana and Bob Jungels — in the front group some 30kms from the finish line.

A late split meant only seven riders contested the final sprint, Dutchman Groenewegen prevailing again after Sunday’s opening win to strengthen his overall lead to 12 seconds.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond

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