Thursday March 7th, 2013

Stage 4Brioude / Saint-Vallier

Start 11h00 GMT 2+

A carbon copy?

Sporting stakes06.03.2013Stage 4- Brioude / Saint-Vallier

First rain and first climbs were merciless to many riders in the Paris-Nice peloton and those expecting a reprieve on the 199.5 kms between Brioude and St Vallier are in for a bitter disappointment.

Weather forecasts are definite - there will be more rain on stage 4. And the roadbook is also ruthless - seven climbs are on the day's menu, including four second category hills, and flat terrain is now just a distant memory… To make matters worse, two small but steep bumps are placed shortly before the finale, which could make it even more jittery than yesterday's. As a result, this stage is probably the one in which a break has the most serious chances to go all the way. It will take courage and ambition to feature on the roll of honour of this edition and maybe some of the riders who were below par in stage 3, like Robert Gesink or Simon Gerrans, will hope to salvage some pride. Otherwise, we could expect a carbon copy of the ride to Brioude, as we now know what teams are in the best shape at present. Andrew Talansky's Garmin Sharp will keep a close watch on their promising new leader, while Team Sky will be out to avenge their brave but fruitless efforts on Wednesday. Andriy Grivko's Astana and Sylvain Chavanel's Omega Quick Step will doubtless make the best of any opportunity while Tejay Van Gaderen's BMC seem to quietly wait for the crucial days ahead.

Stage 4 Brioude / Brioude

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 7

Classifications after the stage 7

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