Norway's Alexander Kristoff claims Paris-Nice stage win

Alexander Kristoff
Norway's Alexander Kristoff celebrates his stage win at the Paris-Nice.

Norway's Alexander Kristoff won a sprint finish to claim victory in the 196.5km first stage of Paris-Nice.

Britain's Ben Swift took ninth with fellow Team Sky rider Bradley Wiggins finishing in the bunch to maintain his 12th position after Sunday's prologue.

Team Sky's Geraint Thomas remained the highest Briton in 10th - 13 seconds behind leader Michal Kwiatkowski.

The breakaway of Thomas Voeckler and Anthony Delaplace was hauled in after Wiggins urged the peloton to speed up.

It made an exciting finish to a mundane stage from Saint-Remy-les-Chevreuse to Contres, as Kristoff edged out Nacer Bouhanni in the sprint for the line.

"I am delighted with the win," said Kristoff.

"I managed to save a lot of energy, I was sitting in a good position and felt I had good control.

Thomas gained a one-second bonus picked up in the second intermediate sprint but there was bad news for Etixx's Tom Boonen, who crashed 20km from the finish and suffered a suspected broken collarbone.

Tuesday's stage is a 172km journey from Saint-Aignan to Saint-Amand-Montrond.

Paris - Nice Stage 1 results

1. Alexander Kristoff (Norway / Katusha) 5:15:18"

2. Nacer Bouhanni (France / Cofidis) ST

3. Bryan Coquard (France / Europcar)

4. Heinrich Haussler (Australia / IAM Cycling)

5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Italy / Trek)

6. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spain / Movistar)

7. Moreno Hofland (Netherlands / LottoNL)

8. Niccolo Bonifazio (Italy / Lampre)

9. Ben Swift (Britain / Team Sky)

10. Michael Matthews (Australia / Orica)

Classification after Stage 1

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland / Etixx - Quick-Step) 5:22:58"

2. Rohan Dennis (Australia / BMC Racing) ST

3. Tony Martin (Germany / Etixx - Quick-Step) +7"

4. John Degenkolb (Germany / Giant) +9"

5. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spain / Astana) +10"

6. Lars Boom (Netherlands / Astana)

7. Michael Matthews (Australia / Orica)

8. Sylvain Chavanel (France / IAM Cycling)

9. Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands / Giant) +13"

10. Geraint Thomas (Britain / Team Sky)

11. Tejay van Garderen (U.S. / BMC Racing) +14"

12. Bradley Wiggins (Britain / Team Sky) +15"

13. Richie Porte (Australia / Team Sky)