Kittel wins as Bouhanni crashes
Germany's Marcel Kittel won the second stage of Paris-Nice race on Tuesday as overnight leader Nacer Bouhanni crashed out of the event.
The Argos-Shimano rider, hampered by a puncture yesterday, claimed the sprint finish over the 200.5 kilometre course from Vimory to Cerilly ahead of Italian Elia Viviani and Orica Greenedge's Leigh Howard.
French road race champion Bouhanni had expected to challenge again, but after avoiding a pile-up which accounted for several riders at the 125km mark, his race was then ended with some 60km left after hitting the pavement.
Bouhanni received treatment from medics at the scene in the village of Blet, before being taken to hospital for further checks on facial and hand injuries.
Viviani is now the overall race leader after the Cannondale team took control of the peleton heading into the final 4km.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step racer Sylvain Chavenel is second in the overall classification, with Damien Gaudin of Team Europcar third.
Viviani's win in the second intermediate sprint in Cerilly saw him also take the green jersey, now some 12 points ahead of Astana Pro Team's Borut Bozic with Chavenel third.
Earlier, a breakaway group of Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling duo Romain Feillu and Thomas De Gendt, Ag2r La Mondiale's Maxime Bouet and Mikel Astarloza, of Euskaltel-Euskadi, had opened up a lead of around four minutes on the peleton, before eventually being reeled in after the collisions.
Tomorrow's third stage runs over 170.5km from Chatel-Guyon to Brioude.