Paris-Nice: Max Schachmann wins first stage in four-man sprint finish
German Max Schachmann won the first stage of Paris-Nice in a four-man sprint finish in Plaisir.
The Bora-Hansgrohe rider, 26, finished the 154km stage in three hours 32 minutes nine seconds, two seconds ahead of Team Sunweb's Tiesj Benoot.
Seven teams, including Team Ineos, withdrew before the race started because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The second stage of the eight-day race takes the riders 166.5km from Chevreuse to Chalette-sur-Loing on Monday.
Benoot and Deceuninck-Quick-Step's Julian Alaphilippe attacked with about 30km of the first stage remaining, but Schachmann and Bahrain-McLaren's Dylan Teuns joined them with less than 3km to go.
Belgian Teuns finished third and Frenchman Alaphilippe fourth, 17 seconds ahead of the peloton.
Ineos will not race until 23 March following the death of sporting director Nico Portal and the "very uncertain situation" around coronavirus.
The other teams missing Paris-Nice are Astana Pro Team, CCC Team, Jumbo-Visma, Mitchelton-Scott, Movistar and UAE Team Emirates, who are still in quarantine in the United Arab Emirates after the final two stages of the UAE Tour were cancelled.
Paris-Nice organisers ASO invited two professional continental teams - B&B Vital Concept and Circus Wanty Gobert - to the race and have also allowed each team to field eight riders instead of seven.
Three races in Italy, including Milan-San Remo, have been cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Stage one result
1. Max Schachmann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) 3hrs 32mins 9secs
2. Tiesj Benoot (Bel/Team Sunweb) +2secs
3. Dylan Teuns (Bel/Bahrain-McLaren) +4secs
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +7secs
5. Pello Bilbao Lopez de Armentia (Spa/Bahrain-McLaren) +24secs
6. Rudy Molard (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) same time
7. Cees Bol (Ned/Team Sunweb) +25secs
8. Nils Politt (Ger/Israel Start-Up Nation) same time
9. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/NTT Pro Cycling Team) same time
10. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col/EF Pro Cycling) same time