TechPowered By

More tech

Paris - Nice 2013

Date range:
March 3-10, 2013

March 07, Stage 4: Brioude - Saint-Vallier 199.5km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage from stage 4 of Paris-Nice.

  1. 12:56:02 CET

    Today's stage is 199.5km from Brioude to Saint-Vallier and with seven categorised climbs it's going to be a tough day in the saddle.

  2. 12:57:58 CET

    Cote de Lachaud (2nd cat.) at 11.5km
    Cote de Condet (2nd cat.) 27.5km
    Cote de la Chomasse (3rd cat.) 87.5km
    Cote de Laprat (3rd cat.) 105.5km
    136: Col du Rouvey (3rd cat.) 136km
    Col de Talencieux (2nd cat.) 176.5
    Cote de la Sizeranne (2nd cat) 191km
     

  3. 116.5km remaining from 199.5km

    13:02:00 CET

    • Attack

    We join the action after 83km of racing. A group of seven riders is up the road with an advantage of just over 2 minutes. Initially Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Gianni Meersman (Omega) and Johann Tschopp (I AM Cycling) broke clear but they were joined by Hubert Dupont (AG2R) and Romain Sicard (Euskaltel) and Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank) with Warren Barguil (AG2R).

  4. 13:02:42 CET

    The leaders are currently on the lower slopes of the Cote de la Chomasse.

  5. 13:03:47 CET

    • Yellow Jersey

    In terms of the overall race, here's where we stand with regards to the top ten.

     

    1 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin Sharp 14:39:36
    2 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team 0:00:03
    3 Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar
    4 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:04
    5 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:05
    6 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:06
    7 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:00:07
    8 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:08
    9 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky Procycling 0:00:09
    10 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun 0:00:12

  6. 13:06:36 CET

    Voeckler though is the current leader on the road. The Frenchman started the stage 1:32 down on Talansky. Today is going to be a real test for Garmin-Sharp though. Other than Talansky the team have appeared slightly off the pace so far. Wegmann is their second placed rider on GC and he's in 102nd spot. The team will aim to retain the jersey though.

  7. 110.5km remaining from 199.5km

    13:12:29 CET

    Garmin are currently on the front of the bunch though, and have the gap pegged at 2:30. Last time they were chasing Voeckler while defending a yellow jersey was probably at Saint-Flour in the 2010 Tour de France.

    That day didn't really go to plan for Garmin. They lost yellow [Hushovd], David Millar crashed and missed the break and Zabriskie crashed out of the race.

  8. 13:16:58 CET

    A reminder of the riders in the break:

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Gianni Meersman (Omega) Johann Tschopp (I AM Cycling), Hubert Dupont (AG2R), Romain Sicard (Euskaltel), Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank) and Warren Barguil (Argos-Shimano).

  9. 13:29:08 CET

    • Red Polka Dot Jersey

    Tschopp looks set to move into the lead of the KOM competition at this rate. He's picked up 14 points so far, overtaking the current leader, Keizer who is on 8 points.
     

    Voeckler currently leads the GC by 1:23.
     

  10. 13:32:03 CET

    Tschopp is no slouch on the climbs either, having won the Tour of Utah last year and a famous Giro stage at Passo del Tonale in 2010. If he can come away with the KOM jersey when the race reaches Nice it could do wonders for IAM Cycling's Tour de France hopes.

  11. 99.5km remaining from 199.5km

    13:33:07 CET

    We've raced just over 100km and the break is approaching the Cote de Laprat.

  12. 13:37:50 CET

    If Tschopp can pick up another four points at the top of the next climb he'll extend his lead but he'll need to watch both Meersman and Voeckler who are both on 8 points.

  13. 13:41:46 CET

    And Sicard is in the break today. It looks like he's starting to find his feet having had a couple of injury hit seasons since turning pro. The Euskaltel rider won the U23 worlds road race in 2009, as well as the Tour Tour de l'Avenir. He won that race by a single second from Tejay van Garderen, who is currently wearing the white jersey in this race. He's second in the standings but with Talansky in yellow the BMC rider wears white.

    Romain Sicard (Euskaltel-Euskadi)

  14. 94.5km remaining from 199.5km

    13:42:36 CET

    The break lead by 2:40.

  15. 13:43:56 CET

    In other news the Operacion Puerto trial rumbles on. We've compiled some the best/ridiculous quotes so far.

  16. 13:44:43 CET

    While the 2013 Tour de France yellow jersey has also been revealed.

  17. 13:47:10 CET

    Tschopp wins the race to the top of the last climb and extends his lead in the KOM. He looks set to wear the polka-dot jersey tomorrow.

  18. 13:55:18 CET

    Garmin are still holding the break at 3:30. Omega, with a rider in the break they don't have to chase, which is ideal as they have two riders in the top ten overall.

  19. 13:56:14 CET

    Tell us who you think will win today's stage via twitter.

  20. 14:00:43 CET

    And you can now follow live coverage from Tirreno on Cyclingnews too. This is the first time we've  done live from two races at the same time. Fingers crossed.

  21. 14:08:55 CET

    Next up is the Col du Rouvey, another 3rd category climb. Chances are the break will hold this lead until the descent of the climb and that's where we'll see Sky, BMC and perhaps Astana come to the front.

  22. 14:17:13 CET

    On the run into the climb the gap has dropped to 3:15. At this point it doesn't look good for the break. The crucial point will be the section between the next descent and the start of the Col de Talencieux.

  23. 14:21:30 CET

    News from letour is that Jakob Fuglsang has pulled out of the race. No reason has been given but we've just sent a text to the team to try and find out.Jakob Fuglsang (Team Astana)

  24. 14:31:35 CET

    By the way, the Tour of California teams for the 2013 edition of the race will be announced in around 30 mins so check the CN homepage to see who is in and who is out. There are certainly a few surprises in store.

  25. 14:36:22 CET

    Barguil has punctured but should be able to make it back to the break. As expected, Garmin and Astana have come to the front.

  26. 14:38:26 CET

    • Pro Team Astana's 2012 Jersey

    Text from Astana's DS Zanini confirms that Fuglsang quit the race due to stomach trouble. He's not been able to eat and had no energy left.

  27. 14:39:35 CET

    Tschopp was first to the top of that last climb though and extends his lead in the KOM.

  28. 14:40:22 CET

    But Sicard has been dropped the leader have just 1:35 on the peloton.

  29. 14:46:05 CET

    So here's the teams for the Tour of California. No Blanco.

  30. 14:46:54 CET

    As Sicard makes it back to the leaders. Their advantage is just 1:30.

  31. 49km remaining from 199.5km

    14:50:21 CET

    Under 50km to go but two 2nd category climbs. The break are on the long descent with Voeckler just picking up three seconds at the intermediate sprint.

  32. 14:52:18 CET

    Voeckler drops back to the team car to drop off an item of clothing before returning to the front of the break. Meanwhile Gilbert is chasing through the cars, having had a mechanical moments ago.

  33. 14:52:38 CET

    As Cofidis join Astana on the front of the peloton.

  34. 14:56:27 CET

    The television cameras are on so instantly Voeckler needs to play up. He gives a few of his breakaway companions a variety of meaningless facial expressions before sprinting to the front of the break.

  35. 15:05:26 CET

    Lampre have joined the chase at the head of the field. There are 35km to go with the gap down to 1:10. I can't see the break staying clear by the top of the next climb.

  36. 15:06:26 CET

    A big day of Talansky though. He could be isolated very early on the penultimate climb. From there he's going to have do a lot of work simply to follow the right moves.

  37. 27km remaining from 199.5km

    15:14:32 CET

    BMC has joined the chase as the break begin the penultimate climb. The gap is down to just 45 seconds.

  38. 15:15:36 CET

    The riders in the break are all looking at each other, waiting to see who attacks first. Voeckler drops to the back of the break as at the foot of the climb Lampre launch an attack.

  39. 15:16:09 CET

    Voeckler attacks and Dupont tries to go with him.

  40. 15:16:33 CET

    Voeckler doesn't want any company though and pushes on the pedals once more.

  41. 15:17:09 CET

    Dupont is slowly dragging himself up the Europcar rider.

  42. 15:18:05 CET

    Dupont is struggling but Quintana has attacked. He's caught pretty quickly though as all the sprinters start to lose contact.

  43. 15:18:38 CET

    It looks as though Voeckler has dropped Dupont too.

  44. 15:20:29 CET

    There's an attack from Euskaltel but it doesn't stick. Up ahead it looks like Dupont has made it back to Voeckler's back wheel. The pair have just 30 seconds as they reach the top of the climb.

  45. 15:22:19 CET

    Talansky is with the main field as Dupont and Voeckler crest the top of the climb with a 35 second lead.

  46. 21km remaining from 199.5km

    15:23:33 CET

    Just 21km to go.

  47. 15:25:13 CET

    BMC lead the peloton over the climb and towards the final climb of the day. Gilbert, who did a lot of work for BMC, has been dropped and is riding with Viviani off the back of the peloton.

  48. 15:26:07 CET

    Dupont has attacked Voeckler on the decent, the reason being that a number of the break who were dropped on the climb are coming back to the two leaders.

  49. 15:31:34 CET

    Meersman and Tschopp have made it to the leaders. The four riders have a 25 second lead over the BMC led peloton, ,with 15 km and one climb still to come.

  50. 15:32:20 CET

    The gap is coming down all the time as the four leaders start the final climb of the day. The gap is around 10 seconds now.

  51. 15km remaining from 199.5km

    15:33:27 CET

    Talansky moves closer to the front of the peloton. Today could very well test his tactical knowledge as well as his strength. 

  52. 15:33:44 CET

    And the break has been caught.

  53. 15:35:25 CET

    Lopez punctures and gets a wheel from one of his teammates. Lopez was in the top ten coming into the stage. It's going to be a big ask for him to come back now.

  54. 15:36:20 CET

    Talansky doesn't have much in the way of team support around him as BMC continue to turn the screw. Basso,  meanwhile, has been dropped. No mechanical or crash, he just can't hold the pace.

  55. 15:39:36 CET

    Onto the final climb and BMC are still leading the way. The group is down to around 40 riders.

  56. 15:40:24 CET

    RadioShack have two riders near the front, Lampre, Astana and Sky all present too.

  57. 15:42:02 CET

    Talansky appears to be glued to Scarponi's back wheel, while Nicholas Roche is struggling due to Monfort's pace.

  58. 9km remaining from 199.5km

    15:42:34 CET

    Kloden is near the front and the German looks strong.

  59. 15:43:41 CET

    Monfort attacks. He crashed in the prologue on Sunday but he's looking a lot better here.

  60. 15:44:05 CET

    Well that didnt get anywhere. Omega closed that one down and now Chavanel attacks.

  61. 15:44:43 CET

    Lampre close it down but Porte and Kloden are looking aggressive. Talansky is just following wheels at the moment.

  62. 15:45:25 CET

    Chavanel is pressing on with his attack but the bunch are coming back together. Roche is there and he attacks with Porte.

  63. 15:45:58 CET

    This time Katusha close it down. Talansky in 6th wheel.

  64. 7km remaining from 199.5km

    15:48:10 CET

    Westra has attacked on the descent of the climb. He's frantically chasing a lone rider as Omega chase from behind.

  65. 15:49:08 CET

    Talansky is chasing Chavanel who has attacked again too. The American has to bring back Westra. He gets help from van Garderen and it's all back  together. BMC again come to the front.

  66. 15:50:51 CET

    Chavanel is now chasing an attack from Coppel. It's closed down but there's no easing up in pace. Now an attack  from Katusha but again it's not given any chance.

  67. 15:51:18 CET

    Westra, was actually off the back of the pack but has now made contact.

  68. 2km remaining from 199.5km

    15:51:42 CET

    Just over 2km to go.

  69. 15:52:21 CET

    Chavanel attacks again but it's virtually impossible to sustain a gap on the descent to the finish.

  70. 15:53:14 CET

    Blanco make their first move of the day with 1km to go.

  71. 15:53:54 CET

    Katusha are leading out.

  72. 15:55:14 CET

    Albasini take it with a huge sprint with about 200 meters to go. The GreenEdge rider was simply too strong. Astana tried to crowd the front but Albasini was too good. Talansky was in the mix too.

  73. 15:56:12 CET

    Iglinskiy had a gap in the final 500 meters but Albasini quickly closed it before coming through on the right hand side to take a clear win.

  74. 15:56:54 CET

    Iglinskiy was second. Velits third.

  75. 15:59:11 CET

    1 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge
    2 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
    3 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
    4 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team
    5 Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
    6 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp
    7 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
    8 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdge
    9 Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack Leopard
    10 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Team Katusha

  76. 16:03:09 CET

    1 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin Sharp 19:35:17
    2 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team 0:00:03
    3 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:00:04
    4 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:04
    5 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:05
    6 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:06
    7 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:00:07
    8 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:00:13
    9 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
    10 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:00:15

  77. 16:05:07 CET

    So Talansky holds his slim advantage after another thrilling stage at Paris-Nice.  The American will have to do it all over again tomorrow though. You can see the GC right here. And dont forget you can follow the finale from Tirreno NOW too.

    Thanks for joining us, see you tomorrow.