Sporting Digest: Cycling

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Andrei Tchmil, the Belgian veteran, yesterday took the lead in the Paris to Nice race when he overcame bad weather and the Dutch team, Rabobank, to win the opening stage. Tchmil, 36, took the yellow jersey from Chris Boardman, who had won the prologue time trial on Sunday.

PARIS-NICE RACE (Paris): 184.7km first stage: 1 A Tchmil (Bel) Lotto 4hr 42min 24sec; 2 M Zberg (Switz) Rabobank; 3 L Van Bon (Neth) Rabobank; 4 S O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole; 5 A Merckx (Bel) Mapei; 6 M Boogerd (Neth) Rabobank; 7 E Dekker (Neth) Rabobank all same time; 8 R Sorensen (Den) Rabobank 3sec behind; 9 M Den Bakker (Neth) Rabobank; 10 M Wauters (Bel) Rabobank, st. 34 Chris Boardman (GB)+1:52. Overall: 1 Tchmil 4hr 52 min 41sec; 2 O'Grady 2sec behind; 3 Sorensen 17; 4 M Wauters 24; 5 Merckx 25; 6 Den Bakker 28; 7 Dekker 29; 8 Boogerd 34; 9 Zberg 40; 10 Van Bon 45.