Canadian Cyclist


March 10/16 13:18 pm - Paris Nice: Stage 4

Posted by Editoress on 03/10/16

Bouhanni avenges past woes with stage 4 win

Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) avenged the bitter disappointments of the first half of Paris-Nice when he outpaced the best sprinters of the peloton to take stage 4 in Romand-sur-Isere in style on Thursday. The Frenchman, third in stage 1 and disqualified from stage 2 after a heated battle with Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE), was in a class of his own this time, outsprinting the bunch ahead of Belgium's Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) and Germany's Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal). Fifth in the wheel of Norway's Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), Matthews retained his race leader's yellow jersey ahead of a 198-km fifth stage to Salon de Provence including the Mont Ventoux ascent.

Four on the move
The stage started from Julienas at 12:00 with 28 of the 161riders expected at the podium unfortunately forgetting to sign the start list. At kilometre 5, as the peloton could still see Mont Brouilly, to which Paris-Nice will return next year after yesterday's cancellation, four men broke clear. Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Matthew Brammeier (Dimension Data), Florian Vachon (Fortuneo) and Evaldas Siskevicius (Delko Marseille Provence) parted company with the bunch, led by Michael Matthews's Orica-Greenedge team-mates as well as the sprinters teams of Katusha, Cofidis and Etixx-Quick Step. Their lead topped at 4:50 at kilometer 17, shortly before Col de Brouilly, which Siskevicus reached in the front, on his way to conquering the polka-dot jersey.

Siskevicius takes polka-dot
The peloton kept the four escapees within a three-minute gap and Siskevicius collected four more points at the top of cote de Givors (km 108). The sprint in Serrieres (Km 143), won by Voeckler, spurred the bunch into reaction and the gap quickly diminished, going under a minute with 40 km to go. In the Cote de Saint-Uze (km 163), the leading group split and Voeckler seized his chance to go on his own. Siskevicius retained enough strength to reach the top in second place to pick five more points and secure the polka-dot jersey on 15 points. After the climb, several attacks took place and Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Sep Vanmarcke (Lotto Jumbo) and Delio Fernandez (Delko Marseille Provence) chased Voeckler down. Voeckler was finally dropped with 20 km to go.

Bouhanni too strong
Chavanel, Vanmarcke and Fernandez were briefly chased by Lieuwe Westra (Astana) and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) in the final 15 km as stage 1 winner Arnaud Demare, plagued by a knee injury, was forced out of the race. The trio managed to keep a 15 seconds edge with two kilometers left as Katusha were doing most of the chasing work. But when Cofidis finally took over in the final two kilometres, the break was doomed and the three were overtaken in the final kilometer. Perfectly led out by his team-mates, Bouhanni launched the sprint alongside Kristoff, then took the wheel of Theuns and easily swept past for his third stage victory on Paris-Nice after the ones collected in 2013 in Nemours and 2014 in Mantes-la-Jolie.



Stage 4: Juliénas to Romans-sur-Isère, 195.5 km
1 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 4:42:29
2 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
3 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
4 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha
5 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEDGE
6 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
7 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
8 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
9 Youcef Reguigui (Alg) Dimension Data
10 Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
11 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
12 Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ
13 Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
14 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
15 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
16 Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale Pro Cycling
17 Gorka Izaguirre (Esp) Movistar Team
18 Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team
19 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team
20 Vicente Reynes (Esp) IAM Cycling
44 Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct Energie all s.t.
1 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEDGE 14:24:15
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin at 0:14
3 Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:19
4 Jon Izaguirre (Esp) Movistar Team
5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky both s.t.
6 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team 0:24
7 Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling 0:25
8 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 0:27
9 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team s.t.
10 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:28
11 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:30
12 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:31
13 Gorka Izaguirre (Esp) Movistar Team
14 Ruben Fernandez (Esp) Movistar Team both s.t.
15 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:33
16 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
17 Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff Team both s.t.
18 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEDGE 0:37
19 Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ s.t.
20 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky 0:38
51 Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct Energie 1:20


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