- Race Home
- Race history
Complete Live Report
Full live coverage of the stage 4 time trial at Paris-Nice, a crucial day in the fight for the overall title
Bonjour tout le monde! A big day coming up at Paris-Nice – an individual time trial that’s set to have a big say in who ends up in the yellow jersey at the end of the week. We’ll have it all covered, as it happens, right here.
The first rider down the start ramp will be Groupama-FDJ's Ignatas Konovalovas at 13:36 local time, so in around 10 minutes.
The riders will then set off at one-minute intervals, in reverse order of the general classification, through to race leader Luis León Sánchez at 16:05.
Here's what the riders are facing today. It's a medium-distance time trial that climbs steadily, cruelly, in the first half. The second half is easier but there is a short climb in there, too. Pacing will be key.
Ignatas Konovalovas rolls down the start ramp and with that we are underway. Here is the Lithuanian champion warming up
Lars Boom (LottoNL-Jumbo) was second off the ramp and is now out on the course. The Dutchman is a strong time triallist, especially on shorter courses, but will this prove too hilly?
Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) is off now. The European champion was dropped early yesterday and says he's been struggling with illness and has nothing in the legs.
The key riders in the battle for the yellow jersey will all be off later on. Before we get our first time checks in, why not get yourselves up to speed on what happened yesterday.
We have the first riders through the intermediate checkpoint at the 8km mark.
David Lopez (Team Sky) - 14'50"
Przemysław Kasperkiewicz (Delko) - 15'14
Alexander Kristoff (UAE) - 15'39"
Ignatas Konovolovas (FDJ) - 15'45" à 00'55"
Boom is way off the pace at 16:15
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) posts 13:50 now. That's an interesting early marker.
Team Sky's Dylan van Baarle is now through in 13:35.
It's a feast of time trialling today. Over in Italy, Tirreno-Adriatico is kicking off with a team time trial. If you must drag yourself away from this, then Sadhbh O'Shea has live coverage of the Tirreno TTT over at live2.cyclingnews.com. Or keep us both happy and have both open...
We have our first finisher. Konovalovas crosses the line and stops the clock on 29:55.
Konovalovas is soon pushed down, with David Lopez clocking 28:26, but let's wait for De Gendt and Van Baarle for our early markers.
26:44 from De Gendt, swiftly followed by 26:21 from Van Baarle, who takes the hotseat.
Meanwhile, however, Jerome Cousin (Direct Energie) has gone fastest at the checkpoint with 13:33.
I've posted the provisional leaderboard, as well as the provisional standings at the checkpoint, which you should be able to see on the right of your screens. My afternoon will now be a frantic chase to keep it up to date.
Alex Edmondson (Mitchelont-Scott) posts a decent time of 13:52 at the intermediate.
Here comes Cousin...
26:58 for Cousin, who perhaps paid for his efforts in the first half of the course. He lost 35 seconds to Van Baarle from the checkpoint onwards.
Edmondson's teammate Chris Juul Jensen posts the same time of 13:52 at the split.
This week has been - and will continue to be - dominated by the fall-out from the UK Parliamentary committee report into 'Combating doping in Sport'. Shane Sutton, the former Team Sky and British Cycling coach who told the committee that Wiggins' use of TUE's was "unethical", has now spoken to Sky Sports News. More at the following link.
It has started to rain, which will make the technical downhill sections of this course even more tricky.
Edmondson hits the line and stops the clock on 26:42, slotting himself into second place.
Juul Jensen goes fifth quickest at 27:04.
Louis Vervaeke posts 13:40 at the split. That's a decent time from the promising Belgian stage racer, who moved from Lotto Soudal to Sunweb over the winter.
Imanol Erviti with 13:39 at the km8 checkpoint.
Nils Politt, the big German at Katusha-Alpecin, goes with quickest at Saint Héand with 13:48.
And now Team Sky's Diego Rosa bumps him down by five seconds.
Vervaeke is another rider to fade in the second half of the course as he stops the clock on 27:26.
13:42 at the split for Belgian TT champion Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step).
Erviti comes to the finish now and he shades out Edmondson with 26:41. Still no one getting near Van Baarle.
Mark Cavendish has crashed in the Tirreno TTT and has just crossed the line with blood on his face. The Manxman was a late addition to the race after recovering from concussion suffered at the Abu Dhabi Tour. My colleague Stephen Farrand is at the Dimension Data bus in Italy waiting for an update. A reminder that you can follow Tirreno live with us at live2.cyclingnews.com
13:43 at the split for Sunweb's Chris Hamilton. That's the same as Rosa and one second behind Lampaert.
A decent negative split from Politt gives him the second best time at the finish, with 26:37.
Lampaert goes into 5th provisionally with 26:42.
Fourth, sorry, for Lampaert. He's shaded Edmondson by a few hundredths of a second.
26:47 and a provisional 7th for Diego Rosa.
A few words on the course from AG2R La Mondiale's Stijn Vandenbergh, currently in 17th place provisionally.
"It was a hard TT. A lot of climbing. For me it was hard but it's a nice course for the GC riders. It's a nice TT."
Hamilton finishes strongly, too, and clocks 26:41 for fourth place as it stands.
Here comes Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) to the intermediate checkpoint. The veteran Frenchman has won plenty of time trials in his time but he's over half a minute down.
New fastest time at the intermediate checkpoint!
And it goes to Astana's Jakob Fulgsang. Alongside Sánchez, the Dane was Astana's leader for Paris-Nice but lost time after a late crash on the opening stage. 13:32 for him - one second quicker than Cousin and three seconds quicker than Van Baarle.
Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic) is on the start ramp - another rider who lost time on the opening day. He's hardly the biggest fan of time trials - I interviewed him over the winter and he even suggested the idea of a Tour de France with no time trialling.
27:54 at the finish for Pierre Rolland (EF-Drapac)
And now Ilnur Zakarin comes through the checkpoint in 13:43 - the same time as Hamilton and Rosa. The Russian is a strong time triallist and Katusha will be expecting big things at the Grand Tours this year.
Zakarin's weakness, however, is descending, and that might be his undoing on this course, which is twisty in places.
27:10 for Chavanel. He won't be troubling the top 10.
Here comes Fuglsang...
It's not enough. 26:29 for the Astana man. He goes into second place but finishes eight seconds down on Van Baarle. having been three up after 8km.
A reminder that Fuglsang started the day in 56th place overall, 2:16 down, so was and still is pretty much out of the general classification equation.
26:42.74 for Ilnur Zakarin, who goes into the top 10 provisionally.
Barguil has already lost 1:19 at the split.
Sergio Henao, one of Team Sky's two leaders alongside Wout Poels, rolls down the ramp now as we get towards the business end of the start list. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) is also a few minutes into his ride as we now see Dan Martin (UAE) on the ramp.
New fastest split!
It's David de la Cruz, Van Baarle's Team Sky teammate, and he's knocked an enormous chunk out of Fuglsang's mark. 13:17 is the new benchmark - that's 15 seconds quicker. De la Cruz won the TT at the Ruta del Sol last month and is clearly flying again here.
French prodigy Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) is off now. He's interested in the overall - what can he do here?
Really good ride from Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo), who goes third quickest at the line with 26:36.
Another young Sunweb talent Sam Oomen is 5th at the split with 13:36.
Wout Poels begins his ride. This course will suit him well.
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) is 36 seconds down at the split. Simon Yates faring a little better.
Yates has the second best time at the split. A great ride so far from the Brit, who's far from a specialist.
Here comes De la Cruz on his way to the line...
26:07! Comfortably the quickest time so far - by 14 seconds.
Team Sky are doing it again, aren't they?
Sergio Henao now has the second fastest time at the split with 13:24, seven seconds down on De la Cruz but five up on the next-best Yates.
Dan Martin is 28 seconds down on De la Cruz at the split.
We're into the last 10 riders now (the top 10 on GC). Here's how they're going off - in reverse order.
1 Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team
2 Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
3 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
5 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb
6 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-Scott
8 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-Merida
9 Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
10 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
26:33 for Sam Oomen. Provisional fourth place for the Dutchman.
And now Alessandro de Marchi (BMC) pushes Oomen down with a time of 26:29. The Italian must have ridden a storming second half as he was outside the top 10 at the split.
Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) rolls down the ramp to huge cheers from a home crowd. He won the time trial at Paris-Nice last year but it was tougher than this one.
New fastest split!
You guessed it - it's Team Sky's Wout Poels, who knocks another huge chunk out of the existing benchmark with 12:58. That's 19 seconds quicker than his teammate De la Cruz.
Here comes Yates. He's kept this up and is heading for a great time.
Yates into the lead!
Simon Yates goes one second quicker than De la Cruz at the finish with 26:06. What a ride from the young Brit.
Young Movistar talent Marc Soler now has the second fastest split with 13:12
Esteban Chaves is 25 seconds down at the split.
Here comes Sergio Henao towards the line...
And it's a new fastest time!
The Colombian shades it from Yates by six hundredths of a second and is into the hotseat.
Tony Gallopin (AG2R) is 42 seconds down at the split. He'll have been hoping for better.
Dan Martin makes his way to the line. He's not a strong time triallist but places a decent enough 19th.
Dylan Teuns (BMC) goes fourth fastest at the finish line.
Race leader Sánchez has started his ride, so all riders are now out on course.
Really good showing from Calmejane, who stops the clock on 26:15 for the fourth fastest time.
A reminder that the provisional leaderboard is constantly updating on the right hand side of your screens. Just about keeping afloat here...
Tim Wellens is coming up to the checkpoint but is 27 seconds down on Poels' time. That's still a really strong time, though.
Poels is coming towards the line now and this is going to be our new fastest time for sure...
25:33 for Poels!
Julian Alaphilippe is seventh fastest at the split.
Meanwhile Bora's Felix Grossschartner has set the second fastest time at the intermediate checkpoint.
Marc Soler passes his minute man as he approaches the line and posts the second fastest time with 25:44. Great ride from the promising Spaniard.
Sanchez is coming to the top of the climb in his yellow skinsuit and he's putting in a solid ride. Fourth quickest there with 13:13
Esteban Chaves moves into fifth place! 26:06 for the Colombian - the same time as his teammate Yates.
The hilly course is helping the more natural climbers, with Yates and Chaves both far from specialists against the clock.
It's chopping and changing thick and fast now as Ion Izaguirre posts the third fastest time with 26:00.
Here comes Grossschartner. And now he takes third place, pushing Izaguirre down. 25:53 for the Austrian.
Alaphilippe misjudges a corner on the descent. He's a risk take but that will cost him precious seconds.
Into the last 5km for Sanchez...
Wellens caps a strong ride, stopping the clock on 26:02 for fifth place provisionally.
Here comes Alaphilippe...
Mouth agape, toungue wagging, Alaphilippe drives out of the saddle round the final bend and gives it everything all the way to the line....
3rd place provisionally with 25:49!
Gorka Izaguirre now, and this is a solid ride, too. 26 flat for sixth place provisionally.
Race leader Sanchez enters the final kilometre. He's not going to win it but this is a solid ride nonetheless.
Sanchez stops the clock on 26:01 for seventh place.
Sanchez passed Demare at the end there, and the Frenchman comes across the line as the last rider to finish. As expected, he's well down the overalls standings now.
Wout Poels (Team Sky) wins stage 4 of Paris-Nice
Sanchez remains in the yellow jersey as the leader of the race.
1 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:25:33
2 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:11
3 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:16
4 Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:20
5 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:27
6 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:27
7 Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:28
8 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:29
9 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:00:33
10 Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:33
General Classification after stage 4
1 Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team 13:47:57
2 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:00:15
3 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:26
4 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:26
5 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:34
6 Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:35
7 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:42
8 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:42
9 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:00:48
10 Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:48
Poels speaks in his post-race interview
"It was quite a hard one, especially at the beginning with the uphill and then at the end with that little short kick, so it was a really hard TT but it was really good for me."
Luis Leon Sanchez takes to the podium to pull on the yellow jersey once again. Here he is on his ride.
What a performance from Poels, who wipes out most of the advantage Sanchez pulled out in that late break yesterday.
What a ride, too, from Marc Soler. The Spaniard won the Tour de l'Avenir in 2015 and has been touted as Spain's next great Grand Tour rider. Could this be a breakout year for him?
"With the wet roads I couldn't take the risks that I would otherwise have taken, but it was the same for everyone. My legs had recovered pretty well from yesterday.
"Looking ahead to the coming stages, there's a long way to Nice. But I'd have signed for this at the start of the race."
More from Poels on Team Sky's plans for the rest of the race. They have Henao in the mix, too, 48 seconds down on Sánchez and 33 back on Poels.
"We still have a few cards to play. I'm now good on GC, Sergio is good too, so we're going to fight for it. It's better to have more choices - yesterday for example, I had bad luck so it's always easier when you have a few at the front."
Here's our report page
Marc Soler takes the white jersey for best young rider.
Over at Tirreno, BMC Racing took the victory in the TTT. Our race report and results for that can be found here:
Here's what's in store tomorrow on stage 5 as the race becomes hillier. A reduced group could well go to the finish there.
That's it for our live coverage today. I'll leave you with our race report, which contains full results and a photo gallery. We'll be back again right here tomorrow for stage 5. Hope you'll join us then.