The stage was set for a remake of Sunday's final showdown between Nacer Bouhanni and John Degenkolb at the finish of the long second stage in St Georges-sur-Baulche, but victory went to a third man, Moreno Hofland, who stole the show for his greatest victory to date.Read more Key moments
The stage in pictures
Paris Nice 2014 - 10/03/2014 - Etape 2 - Rambouillet/Saint Georges sur Baulche - NacerBOUHANNI (FDJ) - Maillot jaune du leader au classement general © G.Demouveaux
Located in a clearing of the Forest of Yveline, the town of Rambouillet marks the beginning of the Haute Vallée de Chevreuse Regional Natural Park. The forest, which covers almost 30,000 hectares and is teeming with flora and fauna including stags, roe deer and boar, is scattered with small lakes and criss-crossed by trails and paths for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The town, whose population of 27,000 includes 10,000 children and students, has successfully been developed in a balanced way that respects the beauty of its environment whilst promoting healthy town life. Five hundred hectares of farmland, including the fields where the wheat used in Yveline bread is grown, are still in use within the area of the town, whilst the castle and its grounds, la Laiterie de la Reine, Le Palais du roi de Rome, La Chaumière aux Coquillages and La Bergerie nationale (Queen's Dairy, the King of Rome's Palace, the Shell Cottage and the National Sheepfold) all keep its rich history alive. Whilst Rambouillet seems provincial in its charm, peacefulness and tight-knit community, the vitality of its economy proves its place as a suburb of the capital, and in 2006, it was awarded the title of "Most dynamic town" by the economic newspaper Les Échos.
The land of canals and vineyards, fertile hillsides and vast forests, Yonne was the first department to play host to the Race to the Sun in Burgundy. Bordering on Auxerre, the department's administrative centre, Saint-Georges-sur-Baulche first appeared in the 13th century under the name of Sancto Georgio. The town has a rich architectural heritage including churches from the 12th and 13th centuries, the Château de Montmercy, the Château de Billy, home to the therapeutic and educational institute, Le Manoir des Cormiers, the priory, and more. Its arts and crafts district with its shops (600 jobs), its facilities (a gymnasium, a football pitch and the tennis courts and leisure centre for children) and its middle school (with around 600 pupils) give the town a vibrant feel. Offering easy living and a dynamic atmosphere, both a country and a city feel, Saint Georges, a favoured home of Yonne inhabitants since the 1960s, has nearly 3,500 residents today. Many of them are members of the thirty cultural and sporting associations whose events set the community's tempo for the year.
Jersey wearers after the stage 8
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