Cycling: Sky's Henderson claims stage win to close in on De Gendt's yellow jersey

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The Independent Online

New Zealand's Greg Henderson of Team Sky won the second stage of the Paris-Nice race yesterday, outsprinting Australia's Matthew Goss and Russia's Denis Galimzyanov.

Thomas De Gendt of Belgium still has the leader's yellow jersey after attacking with just under a mile to go and finishing in the main pack.

Henderson held off his rivals to win a stage for the second straight year. He is second overall, four seconds behind De Gendt. "I was really motivated. I wanted to stay close each day so I can take the yellow jersey," Henderson said. "It's always fantastic here. It's an amazing race, it's the biggest race for me – it's the Everest."

Henderson was aided by Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas's lead-off in the final stretch. "I was just sitting there waiting," Henderson said. "It was a really long sprint and I was lucky to hold the speed to the line."

The 199km ride from Montfort l'Amaury to Amilly was marred by several crashes, with Heinrich Haussler falling into a ditch near the end and a mass crash involving Vladimir Gusev.

"Everyone was scared of the wind breaking the peloton to pieces," Henderson said. "There were so many crashes, like 10 at the finish. It was just crazy."

Henderson said he would now focus on helping his team's leaders, Britain's Brad Wiggins and Australia's Michael Rogers.

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