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Paris – Nice 2015 Stage 3

photo credit @ Paris – Nice 

Matthews takes over after textbook team work

excerpts from Paris – Nice

First race of the season, first stage win and first leader’s jersey — Michael Matthews achieved a perfect sweep in the 179-km third stage of Paris-Nice in St Pourcain sur Sioule with much more than a little help form his Orica-Greenedge team-mates. Ideally set up for the final sprint, the 24-year-old Australian delivered in the hilly finale to beat Italians Davide Cimolai (LAM) and Giacomo Nizollo (TFR) and seize the overall lead by the slimmest margin over prologue winner Michal Kwiatkowski (EQS) and compatriot Rohan Dennis (BMC).

Gilbert tests his legs

The break of the day took shape after nine kilometres when Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Florian Vachon (BSE) joined forces. The 2012 world champion, a contender for the KOM jersey, and the daily escapee from Bretagne-Seche, were temporarily chased by Antoine Duchesne (EUC) and Bradley Wiggins (SKY), who were later reined in. While Vachon collected the bonus on the first intermediate sprint of the day, Gilbert was first at the top of the 3rd category Cote de la Croix du Chene (km 53.5), ahead of Vachon and polka-dot jersey holder Jonathan Hivert (BSE).

Voeckler joins in

With conflicting interests, Gilbert and Vachon failed to cooperate fully and the bunch came back from 5:20 at best (km 30) to within a minute of the two until Thomas Voeckler (EUC) decided to chase behind them. The Frenchman caught up with the pair at kilometre 74 and the gap increased again to reach 5:15 at the foot of Col de la Bosse (Km 97). Gilbert did not miss his chance to secure the polka-dot jersey by adding four points to his tally. The last climb of the day, Cote de Vicq (km 117.5) confirmed the trend.

Bardet tries

The last 50 kms of the stage saw the trio’s lead regularly melt down and was down to 30 seconds when they crossed the line for the first time (km 159.5). Vachon picked the three seconds on offer in the second intermediate sprint while Gilbert eased off and let himself back in the bunch. As Vachon and Voeckler lay the arms with 9 kilometres to go, AG2R’s Jan Bakelants and Romain Bardet attacked on the heels of Paolo Tiralongo (AST). This last ditch attempt was quashed with two kilometers to go when the sprinters trains started to take shape.

Orica-Greenedge seize the reins

At this game, Orica-Greenedge outclassed the rest of the field. They led the way for the whole finale, placing Michael Matthews ideally in the last turn, when the final hill receded into the last stretch. The other usual suspects were nowhere to be seen. Team Giant Alpecin were unable to place John Degenkolb in contention and only Alexander Kristoff (KAT) salvaged a few more points for his green jersey by finishing fourth. Matthews, the 2010 under-23 world champion, now added yellow to to his jersey collection after holding the Giro’s and Vuelta’s pink and red garments in recent years.

Stage 3 Results
AUS 1 MATTHEWS, Michael (ORICA GreenEDGE) 4:32:11
ITA 2 CIMOLAI, Davide (LAMPRE – MERIDA)
ITA 3 NIZZOLO, Giacomo (TREK FACTORY RACING)
NOR 4 KRISTOFF, Alexander (KATUSHA)
ESP 5 ROJAS GIL, Jose Joaquin (MOVISTAR)
NED 6 HOFLAND, Moreno (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)
FRA 7 BOUHANNI, Nacer (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
FRA 8 COQUARD, Bryan (EUROPCAR)
FRA 9 DEMARE, Arnaud (FDJ)
GER 10 DEGENKOLB, John (GIANT – ALPECIN)
BLR 11 HUTAROVICH, Yauheni (BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT)
GBR 12 SWIFT, Ben (SKY)
ESP 13 FERNANDEZ, Ruben (MOVISTAR)
BEL 14 VANGENECHTEN, Jonas (IAM CYCLING)
POL 15 KWIATKOWSKI, Michal (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
BEL 16 KEUKELEIRE, Jens (ORICA GreenEDGE)
ESP 17 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Gorka (MOVISTAR)
GBR 18 THOMAS, Geraint (SKY)
POL 19 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF – SAXO)
USA 20 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING)
ESP 21 SANCHEZ GIL, Luis Leon (ASTANA)
BEL 22 HERMANS, Ben (BMC RACING)
USA 23 TALANSKY, Andrew (CANNONDALE – GARMIN)
GER 24 MARTIN, Tony (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
FRA 25 ALAPHILIPPE, Julian (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
GBR 26 YATES, Simon (ORICA GreenEDGE)
GBR 27 MCLAY, Daniel (BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT)
CRO 28 KISERLOVSKI, Robert (TINKOFF – SAXO)
RUS 29 TROFIMOV, Yury (KATUSHA)
NED 30 KELDERMAN, Wilco (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)
FRA 31 BARGUIL, Warren (GIANT – ALPECIN)
SUI 32 RAST, Grégory (TREK FACTORY RACING)
FRA 33 DUMOULIN, Samuel (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
POR 34 FARIA DA COSTA, Rui Alberto (LAMPRE – MERIDA)
ESP 35 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Jon (MOVISTAR)
ESP 36 REYNES MIMO, Vicente (IAM CYCLING)
RUS 37 CHERNETSKI, Sergei (KATUSHA)
FRA 38 CHAVANEL, Sylvain (IAM CYCLING)
NED 39 DUMOULIN, Tom (GIANT – ALPECIN)
NED 40 TANKINK, Bram (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)

General Classification after Stage 3
AUS 1 MATTHEWS, Michael (ORICA GreenEDGE) 14:25:27
POL 2 KWIATKOWSKI, Michal (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 1
AUS 3 DENNIS, Rohan (BMC RACING)
GER 4 DEGENKOLB, John (GIANT – ALPECIN) + 3
GER 5 MARTIN, Tony (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 8
ESP 6 SANCHEZ GIL, Luis Leon (ASTANA) + 11
FRA 7 CHAVANEL, Sylvain (IAM CYCLING)
NED 8 DUMOULIN, Tom (GIANT – ALPECIN) + 14
GBR 9 THOMAS, Geraint (SKY)
BEL 10 GILBERT, Philippe (BMC RACING)
NOR 11 KRISTOFF, Alexander (KATUSHA) + 15
USA 12 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING)
AUS 13 PORTE, Richie (SKY) + 16
NED 14 KELDERMAN, Wilco (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 17
ESP 15 PLAZA MOLINA, Ruben (LAMPRE – MERIDA)
ESP 16 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Gorka (MOVISTAR) + 19
LUX 17 JUNGELS, Bob (TREK FACTORY RACING)
FRA 18 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL)
ITA 19 NIZZOLO, Giacomo (TREK FACTORY RACING)
NED 20 SLAGTER, Tom Jelte (CANNONDALE – GARMIN)

 

 

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