Wednesday March 12th, 2014

Stage 4Nevers / Belleville

Start 10h45 (Local time)

Key moments

Stage summary12.03.2014 in 16:30Thomas shows he was no second-choice leader

They might have seemed unexpected leaders at the start but Geraint Thomas and Tom-Jelte Slagter proved the skeptics wrong in the decisive 201.5-kms 4th stage of Paris-Nice to Beleville on Wednesday.

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interview12.03.2014 in 16:53Thomas - Let me enjoy that day in yellow

"It's unbelievable. I only learnt Friday before the race I was going to lead the team. Paris-Nice is one of the biggest stage race in the world behind the Tour de France and the Giro. To hold the yellow jersey is great and I'm very happy. I obviously received great support from the team. It's a different pressure because you don't want to let them down. I knew anyway that if I had been helping Richie I would have played a role here anyway. But the fact that he went to Tirreno was a great...

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interview12.03.2014 in 16:39Slagter - It was the job I had to do

"I can't believe it because this is the first race of my season after one day in Mallorca. But it was really hectic in the last few days and you can feel how good you are. Today was the best possibility for me. That climb suits me really well but to win the stage is something I didn't expect. I knew Geraint Thomas is pretty good, he is fast and strong and a very good rider. I knew that if I wanted to beat him I had to wait for the right moment but it worked perfectly. It was the job I had to...

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Sporting stakes11.03.2014 in 17:36Anything is possible

Appearances should not allays be trusted. Paris-Nice finishes in Belleville so far mostly crowned ace sprinters like Fabio Baldato, Gert Steegmans, Robbie McEwen or Tom Boonen. But the course of today's 4th stage is entirely different making anything possible in the vineyards of the Beaujolais. The addition of hills and bumps in the last 60 kilometres offers plenty of opportunities for the bold and ambitious to try their luck from afar. A long break or a show of strength by the favourites on...

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15:51Top five overall standings

Top five overall standings after stage 4:

1. Geraint Thomas (SKY)

2. John Degenkolb (GIA) 3 seconds behind

3. Tom-Jelte Slagter (OGE) 4 secs

4. Jose Joaquin Rojas (MOV) 8 secs

5. Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R) 12 secs

15:50Top 5 placings

Top Five placings in the 201.5-km stage 4 of Paris-Nice.

1. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Netherlands, GRS)

2. Geraint Thomas (Britain, SKY)

3. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands, BEL)

4. Michael Matthews (Australia, OGE)

5. Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic, OPQ)

15:46Slagter wins stage 4

Ducthman Tom-Jelte Slagter (GRS) won the 201.5-km 4th stage of Paris-Nice in Belleville. Geraint Thomas (SKY) was second and Wilko Kelderman (BEL) was third.

15:44Under the red flame

Thomas and Slagter still lead, followed by Wilco Keldermann (BEL).

15:432 kms to go...

... and only 10 seconds left for Thomas (SKY) and Slagter (GRS) over the Nibali group.

15:42Nibali chases

Vincenzo Nibali (AST) is chasing behind the two escapees with 3 kms to go.

15:4120 seconds left

Slagter (GRS) and Thomas (SKY) hold a 20 seconds lead over a first chasing group including Arthur Vichot (FDJ), Romain Bardet and Carlos Betancur (AG2R), Vincenzo Nibali (AST) and Rui Costa (LAM). The yellow jersey group is 35 seconds adrift. A group with Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) is 1:05 off the pace.

15:34Slagter and Thomas in the lead

Tom Slagter (GRS) and Geraint Thomas (SKY) lead the race with 10 kms to go. The yellow jersey group is 35 seconds adrift.

15:32Results on Mont Brouilly

Results in the 2nd category Cote de Mont-Brouilly (Km 187)

1.  Tom Slagter (GRS)     7 points

2.   Geraint Thomas (SKY)   5 points

3.   Wilco Keldermann (BEL)     3 points

4.   Jon Izaguirre (MOV)    2 points

5.   Carlos Betancur (AG2R)   1 point

15:29Slagter first at the top

Tom Slagter (GRS) was first at the top of Mont Brouilly, follwoed by Geraint Thomas (SKY).

15:29Thomas chases behind Slagter

Team Sky leader Geraint Thomas is now chasing behind Slagter.

15:28Slagter attacks

Tom Slagter (GRS) attacked on his own while at the back, several riders like Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) or Thomas Voeckler (EUC) have been dropped.

15:26Degenkolb resists

Yellow-jersey holder John Degenkolb resists and is still in the leading bunch.

15:25Betancur attacks

Carlos Betancur (AG2R) attacks on his won in Mont-Brouilly.

15:24Gerrans, Bouhanni dropped

Several riders have been dropped in Mont Brouilly, including polka-dot jersey holder Christophe Laborie (BSE), Australia's Simon Gerrans (OGE) and first stage winner Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ).

15:21Break over

Km 183 - The four escapees have been caught at the foot of Mont Brouilly with 18 kms to go.

15:1920 kms to go...

... and the peloton trails Agnoli (AST), Quemeneur (EUC), Didier (TFR) and Herrada (MOV) by 15 seconds.

15:18Puncture for Andy Schleck

2010 Tour de France winner Andy Schleck (TFR) has punctured and has been dropped...

15:17Results of the second sprint

Result of the second intermediate sprint in Regnie-Durette (Km 179):

1. Laurent Didier (TFR) 3 secs, 3 points

2. Perrig Quemeneur (AST) 2 secs, 2 pts

3. Jesus Herrada (MOV) 1 sec, 1 pt

15:1325 kms to go...

... and Agnoli (AST), Herrada (MOV), Quemeneur (EUC) and Didier (TFR) are only 25 seconds ahead of the bunch.

15:12Mechanical for Chavanel

Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) suffered a mechanical and was forced to change bikes. He is back in the race, escorted by team-mates Sebastien Hinault and Kevin Ista, chasing behind the bunch.  

15:11Peloton is nearing

Km 173 - The peloton is getting closer to the escapees. Only 30 seconds left.

15:07Stage winners in Belleville

Stage winners in past stages in Belleville:

2011 - Thomas Voeckler; 2008 - Gert Steegmans; 2006 - Tom Boonen; 2002 - Robbie McEwen; 2000 - Fabio Baldato. 

14:59Results in the Col de Crie (Km 164)

Results in the 3rd category Col de Crie (Km 164):

1. Agnoli (AST)  4 points

2. Herrada (MOV) 2 points

3. Didier (TFR) 1 pont

The peloton 55 seconds behind. 

14:53Split peloton

The peloton split in the Col de Champ Juin and first stage winner Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) was among the riders dropped in the second half of the pack.

14:51Team Sky lead the chase

Four Team Sky riders lead the chase as the gap between the peloton and the four escapees has gone under the minute.

14:50Result in Col de Champ de Juin

Result in the 3rd category Col de Champ de Juin (km 156.5)

1. Agnoli (AST) 4 points

2. Didier (TFR) 2 points

3. Quemeneur (EUC) 1 pt

Peloton 55 secs behind

14:48Average speed 38 kph

The average speed in the 4th hour of the stage was 37.4 for an overall speed of 38 kph.

14:43Result in Cote de la Clayette (corrected)

Result in the 3rd category Cote de la Clayette (km 137.5)

1. Valerio Agnoli (AST) 4 points

2. Perrig Quemeneur (EUC) 2 pts

3. Jesus Herrada (MOV) 1 pt

14:27Gap down to 2:50

Km 142 - The gap between the four escapees and the peloton keeps going down. It has now been trimmed down to 2:50 as Orica Greenedge and Team Sky lead the bunch.

14:2227 nations in Paris-Nice

27 nations are still present on Paris-Nice

Of the 164 riders still in the race, Frenchmen are the most, followed by Italians and Belgians.

43 : France

16 : Italy, Belgium (18 at start then Meersman -OPQ- and Boeckmans -LTB- did not start stage 3)

13 : Netherlands (14 at start, then Boom -BEL- did not start stage 3)

10 : Spain

7 : Russia

6 : Australia

5 : Germany, Norway, U.S. (6 at start,...

14:19Result in Cote de la Clayette

Result in the 3rd category Cote de la Clayette (km 137.5):

1. Valerio Agnoli (AST) 4 points

2. Perrig Quemeneur (EUC) 2 pts

3. Laurent Didier (TFR) 1 pt

14:15The race in La Clayette

The race is in La Clayette, finish of a Dauphine stage won by Edvald Boasson-Hagen in 2012. It was also the start of a Paris-Nice stage to St Etienne in 2003. 

14:09Gap down to 4:40

Km 128 - The first of four climbs on the day's course is ten kilometres ahead and the four escapees lead the peloton by 4:40.

13:55Fabrizio Guidi (TCS) - "Matti was aching all over"

Interviewed by, Tinkoff-Saxo team director Fabrizio Guidi explained the withdrawal of Matti Breschel: "He crashed seriously in a descent on the Tour of Oman and was in pain ever since. He instead in the last three days because he is a classics rider and wanted to prepare for the races to come. But he is in pain all over and especially in the hand. He can hardly handle his bike and it was better for him to stop."

13:47Average speed 38.9 kph

The average speed in the third hour of the stage was 39.2 kph for an overall average speed of 38.9 kph.

13:43Gap keeps rising

Km 111 - The gap between the four escapees and the main pack nor reaches 6:20.

13:34Gap up to 5:50

Km 104 - Agnoli (AST), Didier (TFR), Herrada (MOV) and Quemeneur (EUC) lead the peloton by 5:50. This is the highest gap so far with the bunch, still led by John Degenkolb's Giant Shimano team-mates.

13:31McPartland - "We don't want to put pressure on Simon"

Orica Greenedge team director David McPartland told Simon Gerrans, currently 1:49 behind race leader John Degenkolb (GIA), had far from lost all ambitions for the overall standings. But the Australian former rider insisted his team would not put any pressure on their leader, who is recovering from sickness.
"Simon has been sick before Paris-Nice, probably an allergy, and we made sure he did not come back too fast. On paper, this Paris-Nice parcours would have been ideal...

13:29The race in Paray-le-Monial

The race is in Paray-le-Monial (km 106) in which Alessandro Petacchi won a Paris-Nice stage in 2003.

13:28Breschel abandons

Denmark's Matti Breschel (TCS) has just given up.

13:22Gap to 5:20

Km 97 - The gap between the four escapees and the peloton is now 5:20.

13:03Gap to 4:30

Km 84 - Agnoli (AST), Herrada (MOV), Didier (TFR) and Quemeneur (EUC) lead the peloton, led by Giant Shimano riders, by 4:30.

12:52Happy birtdhay Phil Anderson

Australia's Phil Anderson is 56 today. He won a Paris-Nice stage in Mandelieu in 1981 and finished twice in the final Top Five in 1984 and 1985.

12:48Average speed 38.8 kph

The average speed in the second hour of the stage was 37.1 kph for an overall speed since the start of 38.8 kph.

12:38Three riders chase

Km 67 - Three riders try to bridge the gap with the four escapees. They are Jose Guttierez (MOV) and Alessandro De Marchi and Damiano Caruso (both CAN). 

12:20Gap up to 4:50

Km 58 - The gap between the four escapees and the bunch moves up slightly to 4:50.

12:15Result of the first sprint

Result of the first intermediate sprint in Vitry-sur-Loire (Km 56.5):

1. Laurent Didier (TFR) 3 secs, 3 points

2. Valerio Agnoli (AST) 2 secs, 2 pts

3. Jesus Herrada (MOV) 1 sec, 1 pt

12:06Last gap 4:30

Km 50 - The gap between Agnoli, Didier, Herrada, Quemeneur and the peloton is now 4:30.

12:05Didier a family man

Laurent Didier (TFR), one of the four men in the break, was Luxembourg champion in 2012. He is the last member of a cycling dynasty since his grandfather Jean Diederich held the Tour de France yellow jersey in 1951 while his father Lucien was also national champion four times and took part in six Tours de France. 

12:00Gap to 4:45

Km 38 - The gap between the four escapees and the peloton is 4:35.

11:59Average 40.5 kph

The average speed in the first hour of the stage was 40.5 kph.

11:55Spanish champion in the break

Jesus Herrada (MOV), one of the four men in the break, is the current Spanish champion. At 23, he is taking part in his second Paris-Nice.

11:35Gap up to 3:40

Km 30 - Agnoli, Quemeneur, Didier and Herrada lead the peloton by 3:40.

11:29The race in Decize

The race is in Decize (Km 28.5) in which Rik van Looy won a Paris-Nice stage in 1963.

11:22Latest gap 2:40

Km 24 - Valerio Agnoli (AST), Laurent Didier (TFR), Perrig Quemeneur (EUC) and Jesus Harrada (MOV) lead the peloton by 2:40

11:11The four lead by 35 secs

Km 18 - Agnoli (AST), Quemeneur (EUC), Didier (TFR) and Herrada Lopez (MOV) lead the main pack by 35 seconds.

11:10Herrada Lopez joins the break

Spain's Jesus Herrada Lopez (MOV) has joined the break. Four men are now in the lead (km 17).

11:08Laborie chases

Polka-dot jersey holder Christophe Laborie (BSE) is attempting to join the break.

11:04Gap at 20 seconds

The three escapees, Agnoli, Didier and Quemeneur, lead the peoloton by 20 seconds (km 13).

11:03Quemeneur again

Perrig Quemeneur (EUC) was already part of the long break in yesterday's stage 3 and was only reined in with two kilometres to go.

11:02Three riders on the move

Km 11 - Three riders are trying their luck – Valerio Agnoli (AST), Laurent Didier (TFR) and Perrig Quemeneur (EUC)

10:58Voeckler caught

Thomas Voeckler (EUC) was reeled in as several attempts take place at the front of the pack (km 9).

10:58Quotes at the start

"Serious business starts today," said France's Sylvain Chavanel, echoing the general feeling in the bunch. And the IAM team leader is among those who could do well, if we have to believe team-mate Jerome Pineau, who said: "Sylvain is in great shape.
Another Frenchman, Tony Gallopin noted he was  "still in good position for the overall" and hoping to be among the leading contenders in this first hilly stage.
The favorite of many, Vincenzo Nibali admitted it was "a tricky stage"...

10:55Voeckler attacks

France's Thomas Voeckler (EUC), winner in Belleville in 2011, attacked (km 6) and leads the peloton by a few hundred metres.

10:53In the press today

In l'Equipe, Paris-Nice leader John Degenkolb, born in Gera, the town of former sprint ace Olaf Ludwig, said how much he wished to one day win Paris-Roubaix, the Queen of Classics Ludwig tried in vain to conquer.
"Paris-Roubaix fascinates me," he told l'Equipe, adding that todays finale with the ascent of Mont Brouilly is similar to a classic finale.
"It goes up and down endlessly," he said.

10:48Start given

The start was given at 10:45 to 164 riders. The weather is sunny and cool.

10:35Jersey holders

Thanks to his victory in stage 3, John Degenkolb (GIA) rid Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) of all the jerseys he held for two days, the yellow, the green and the white. While the points classification garment should remain on his back, the other two will be in jeopardy today in the first seriously hilly ride in this edition. Overall, and in the young riders's classification, the German sprinter leads Bouhani by eight seconds, while he holds a 11 points edge over the Frenchman in the race for the green...

10:32164 riders at the start

164 riders are at the start of stage 4 in Nevers this morning. No non-starter.

10:24Climbs of the day

Km 137.5 - Cote de la Clayette (3rd cat.)
Km 156.5 - Col de Champ Juin (3ed cat)
Km 164 - Col de Crie (3rd cat)
Km 187 - Mont Brouilly (2nd cat)

10:23Sprints of the day

Km 56.5 - Vitry-sur-Loire
Km 179 - Regnie-Durette

10:20Welcome on stage 4

Welcome on the 201.5-km 4th stage of Paris-Nice between Nevers and Belleville.
Stay tuned to www.letour. fr


Jersey wearers after the stage 8

Classifications after the stage 8


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