It would be inaccurate to say that Belgian Tom Boonen is in rare form, because he seems to be in the same amazing form that he was in last year - there are just days that the man can't be stopped. Today's Paris-Nice stage was one of those days. He won the sprint finish after the main field recollected the two-man breakaway - despite his hesitation after he thought he had a broken chain. The stage was briefly interrupted by students protesting against job cuts in France, but the riders were quickly on their way again.
(Incidentally, protests stopping bike races in France isn't uncommon. As CyclingNews.com notes, one of France's legendary riders, Bernard Hinault - who won the Tour de France himself five times - used to "box" his way through such protests. Now that Hinault works for the race organizers, he's notably calmer.)
American Floyd Landis keeps the overall lead, and he and his Phonak team demonstrated today that they're perfectly capable of protecting it.
Following Boonen's "repeat performance" example, Italian Paolo Bettini makes it two in a row at the Tirreno-Adriatico today, with German Erik Zabel taking second for the second day. The sad news from the stage was that CSC's Stuart O'Grady, a great Aussie sprinter who always factors in the Tour de France, had a bad crash and broke five ribs and a collarbone.