- - Paris-Nice 2024 Stage 4

Paris-Nice 2024 Stage 4

photo credits @ Paris-Nice

Lucas Plapp (Jayco AlUla) and Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain-Victorious) boldly outwitted the favorites to share the laurels at the top of Mont Brouilly today, the Colombian winning the 4th stage of Paris-Nice while the Australian champion, second in the stage, took over the overall leader’s yellow and white jersey. Plapp was the first to launch the decisive move in the 1st category Col du Fut d’Avenas and he was later joined by Buitrago, already noted for his two stage wins in the Giro d’Italia. The pair worked perfectly together while the favorites were playing a waiting game behind them.

Meanwhile, Matthias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek), Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick-Step) and Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) surged too late to be content with collecting a few bonus seconds on the finish line.

Race Highlights

Earlier in the day, an attack from Cristian Scaroni (Astana) came early and he had various companions during the stage. Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies) took full advantage in the KOM standings, picking up 25 points.

However, with under 50km to go, the peloton closed the gap and Scaroni was left all alone. He was eventually swallowed up, although not before he picked up more KOM points of his own to close the gap on leader Burgaudeau (28) to seven points.

In the intermediate sprint, some riders were caught out within the peloton, and that opened the door for Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick-Step) to take the six seconds on offer, moving him to within just 12 of then-leader McNulty.

Primoz Roglic (Bora-Hansgrohe), looking to bounce back after a tough time trial, was just behind the Belgian picking up four seconds, with Laurence Pithie (Groupama-FDJ) in third.

As the peloton reached 25km to go, there was a curious moment as Louis Vervaeke (Soudal-Quick-Step) and Plapp both went up the road.

Vervaeke clearly wasn’t happy, and after looking around, he called off the attack, but the Australian ended up pulling clear and followed no such orders, building a decent lead over the peloton as the Soudal rider rejoined the pack.

On the penultimate climb, there was a small crash that didn’t impact the GC – but it did result in some splitting from within the peloton.

Meanwhile, at the front, Buitrago pounced at the chance and went up the road to join Plapp.

As the peloton and the leaders edged towards the final climb, the gap rose, rather than shrinking, to well over half a minute as the front pair began to smell the chance for not only a stage win, but also the yellow jersey.

In terms of retirements earlier in the day, Michael Matthews (Jayco-AlUla) had to withdraw from the race due to what his team described as “gastrointestinal issues”. Marc Soler and Gorka Izagirre also ended up withdrawing.

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