Paris-Nice: Garcia Cortina wins stage 3

Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain-McLaren) won stage 3 of Paris-Nice after emerging victorious from a chaotic bunch finish in La Châtre. The Spaniard showed considerable strength on the slightly uphill finishing straight to hold off Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and claim the spoils, while Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished safely in the front group to retain the yellow jersey of race leader.

The sprint was marred by a crash that saw Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) forced into the barriers with 200 metres ago after Hugo Hofstetter (Israel Start-Up Nation) appeared to clip the wheel of Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), but Garcia Cortina was nonetheless full value for his victory in difficult conditions.

After finding a gap, Garcia Cortina opened his effort with a little over 100 metres to go, undeterred by the presence of Sagan on his rear wheel. Indeed, the three-time world champion never looked like coming past and had to settle for holding off Andrea Pasqualon (Circus-Groupe Gobert) for second. Cees Bol (Sunweb) took fourth ahead of Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea-Samsic).

"It's a surprise. There was a bit of chaos in the end. I found my place, a bit of space to go, and I had to go full, full gas to the end, and I could take the victory," Garcia Cortina said afterwards.

It was only the second victory of Gijon native's career after his triumph in Ventura on last year's Tour of California. Twelve months ago, he also came close to a stage win on this race in Bellegarde, losing out to Dylan Groenewegen in a bunch sprint. "It's a race I really like, so it's a really big victory," he said.

Sunweb and, particularly, Deceuninck-QuickStep were prominent on the run-in to La Châtre as they looked to tee up their sprinters. After picking up a bonus second at the intermediate sprint Julian Alaphilippe later set about working for Sam Bennett in the finale, and when he swung over with 1,600 metres remaining, Deceuninck-QuickStep occupied the first four places in the peloton.

The Belgian squad had hit the front a little too soon, however, and Bennett preferred to drift off the wheel of his lead-out man Michael Mørkøv shortly after the flamme rouge. With no single team now able to control affairs, a chaotic sprint ensued, and Bennett was removed from contention when Hofstetter lost control and slammed him against the barriers with 200m to go.

The Irish champion was able to remount and cross the line, albeit with just one hand on the bars. Ewan, meanwhile, was also impeded in the incident and unable to contest the sprint, having been guided through the closing kilometres by his new teammate John Degenkolb.

The long stage had been fought out largely into a headwind, which had limited the scope for the kind of echelons that blew the race apart on the opening two days, but navigating the narrow roads on the run-in to La Châtre proved a fraught experience nonetheless.

There were a number of jittery crashes in the final 50km, most notably with 6km to go, when Niki Terpstra (Total-Direct Energie) and Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) were among the fallers. That incident briefly split the peloton, but the GC contenders were all part of the reduced front group that contested the finish.

"For the last 90 kilometres it was really difficult to just to secure the position in the front. Everybody was ready for a big crosswind action but it actually took place in the last eight kilometres," said the yellow jersey Schachmann, who holds a buffer of 13 seconds over Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT) and 24 over Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo).

He also extended his lead over dangerman Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling) by 3 seconds. The Colombian champion lies 5th at 26 seconds ahead of Wednesday's 15km time in Saint-Amand-Montrond.

"I showed in the past I could ride good time trials. I want to defend this beautiful jersey," Schachmann said. "I'm going to try my best. Tomorrow is the next challenge. I'm going to give my best and then there are two hilly mountain stages. They will be the big showdown."

How it unfolded

The familiar elements are all in place – wind, rain and a nervous peloton – but this edition of Paris-Nice is not taking place under ordinary circumstances. As Jasper Stuyven put it when speaking with the Belgian media: "If you look around in the peloton, 90 percent assume that we will not get to Nice."

For the second day running, no spectators were permitted at the start area in accordance with French government's latest measures to limit the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, and there was a similarly muted beginning to proceedings when the race rolled out of Chalette-sur-Loing.

When Tom Devriendt (Circus-Wanty Gobert) slipped clear after four kilometres, nobody deigned to follow. The Belgian pressed on alone, undeterred by the prospect of sailing into a stiff headwind for much of the long road to the finish in La Châtre.

Within 40 kilometres, Devriendt had built up a buffer of some 9:20 over the peloton. Though he began the day more than 20 minutes off Max Schachmann's yellow jersey, the German's Bora-Hansgrohe team nonetheless set about putting limits on his advantage. Juraj Sagan performed the early duties, and the Slovak's efforts helped to chip away at Devriendt's buffer as the afternoon progressed.

With 50km remaining, the gap was down to 1:40 as the pace lifted steadily in an increasingly nervous peloton. On occasion, splits threatened to develop – most notably when Sunweb led the race onto narrow, exposed roads with 44km to go – but there was still a full complement of riders in the bunch when Devriendt's adventure came to an end 27km from home.

Deceuninck-QuickStep were prominent on the run-in, though world champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) thwarted their attempts to set up Alaphilippe for three bonus seconds at the sprint at Saint-Aout. After his misfortune on stage 2, Alaphilippe is thus some 1:31 off Schachmann's yellow jersey, but he will hope to begin his Paris-Nice anew on home roads in Saint-Amand-Montrond on Wednesday.


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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 5:49:55
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Circus-Wanty Gobert
4Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb
5Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
6Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
7Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie
8Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
9Mads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Israel Start-Up Nation
10Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale
11Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Start-Up Nation
12Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
13Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
14Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain McLaren
15Connor Swift (GBr) Team Arkea-Samsic
16Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:03
17Nils Politt (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
18Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
19Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb
20Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling
21Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation
22Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
23Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Nippo Delko Provence
24Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
25Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling
26Fabien Doubey (Fra) Circus-Wanty Gobert
27Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
28Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie
29Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
30Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
31Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Arkea-Samsic
32Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
33Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
34Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep
35Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
36Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
37Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
38Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
39Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-Quickstep
40Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
41Roman Kreuziger (Cze) NTT Pro Cycling
42Damien Touze (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:11
43Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
44Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb
45Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
46Michael Hundahl (Den) NTT Pro Cycling 0:00:14
47Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Pro Cycling 0:00:16
48Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep
49Nico Denz (Ger) Team Sunweb
50Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
51Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren
52Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis 0:00:20
53Nils Eekhoff (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:23
54Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:24
55Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
56Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain McLaren 0:00:36
57Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:52
58Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:57
59John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto Soudal
60Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
61Sebastian Schönberger (Aut) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept 0:01:53
62Romain Combaud (Fra) Nippo Delko Provence
63Ryan Gibbons (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling
64Dayer Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
65Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain McLaren
66Adrien Petit (Fra) Total Direct Energie
67Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
68Juraj Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
69Julien Trarieux (Fra) Nippo Delko Provence
70Julien Vermote (Bel) Cofidis
71Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Bora-Hansgrohe
72Victor Campenaerts (Bel) NTT Pro Cycling
73Aime De Gendt (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
74Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:02:05
75Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale 0:02:18
76Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:02:43
77Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:02:45
78Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:02:49
79Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep
80Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal 0:03:18
81Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ 0:03:29
82Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren
83Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:04:24
84Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
85Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo 0:04:33
86Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
87Daniel McLay (GBr) Team Arkea-Samsic
88Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain McLaren 0:04:55
89Tom Scully (NZl) EF Pro Cycling 0:05:04
90Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept 0:05:32
91Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
92Jens Debusschere (Bel) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
93Frederik Backaert (Bel) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
94Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
95Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale 0:05:37
96Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:05:50
97Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
98Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis
99Niki Terpstra (Ned) Total Direct Energie
100Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb
101José Gonçalves (Por) Nippo Delko Provence
102Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Nippo Delko Provence
103Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain McLaren
104Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
105Mauro Finetto (Ita) Nippo Delko Provence
106Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
107Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis
108Kevin Reza (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
109Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
110Julien Simon (Fra) Total Direct Energie
111Winner Anacona (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
112Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
113Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Total Direct Energie
114Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
115Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Pro Cycling
116Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
117Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
118Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
119Tejay Van Garderen (USA) EF Pro Cycling
120Ryan Mullen (Irl) Trek-Segafredo
121Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Circus-Wanty Gobert
122Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Total Direct Energie
123Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
124Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling
125Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Pro Cycling
126Ben O'Connor (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling
127Tom Devriendt (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert 0:06:01
128Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:07:59
129Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation
130Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) NTT Pro Cycling 0:08:52
131Michael Gogl (Aut) NTT Pro Cycling
132Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Total Direct Energie 0:12:09
133Julien El Fares (Fra) Nippo Delko Provence 0:19:01
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Sprint 1 - Châtillon-Coligny km. 20
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tom Devriendt (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert 3
2Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling 2
3Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo 1
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Sprint 2 - D918 Saint-Août km. 193.5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo 3
2Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep 2
3Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep 1
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Sprint 3 - D927 La Châtre km. 212.5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 15
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 12
3Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Circus-Wanty Gobert 9
4Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb 7
5Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 6
6Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation 5
7Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie 4
8Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling 3
9Mads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Israel Start-Up Nation 2
10Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale 1
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Mountain 1 - Cote de la Chapelotte km. 88
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tom Devriendt (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert 4
2Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Total Direct Energie 2
3Mauro Finetto (Ita) Nippo Delko Provence 1
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Young riders
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 5:49:55
2Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb
3Connor Swift (GBr) Team Arkea-Samsic
4Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling 0:00:03
5Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
6Damien Touze (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:11
7Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:00:16
8Nils Eekhoff (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:23
9Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:04:33
10Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept 0:05:32
11Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale 0:05:37
12Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:05:50
13Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Nippo Delko Provence
14Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain McLaren
15Mauro Finetto (Ita) Nippo Delko Provence
16Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
17Ben O'Connor (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling
18Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:07:59
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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Israel Start-Up Nation 17:29:45
2Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:03
3Team Arkea-Samsic
4Team Sunweb 0:00:06
6Bahrain McLaren 0:00:16
7NTT Pro Cycling 0:00:17
9EF Pro Cycling 0:00:22
11Trek-Segafredo 0:00:30
12Lotto Soudal 0:01:11
13Total Direct Energie 0:01:56
14Circus-Wanty Gobert
15AG2R la Mondiale
16Nippo Delko Provence 0:03:49
17B&B Hotels-Vital Concept 0:12:57
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General Classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 13:12:01
2Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling 0:00:13
3Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:24
4Mads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:00:25
5Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling 0:00:26
6Nils Politt (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:00:28
7Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Start-Up Nation
8Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:31
9Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
10Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:36
11Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain McLaren 0:00:40
12Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb 0:00:41
13Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale 0:00:43
14Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:45
15Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:46
16Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:04
17Fabien Doubey (Fra) Circus-Wanty Gobert
18Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling
19Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
20Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
21Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:19
22Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:01:34
23Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:01:50
24Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:01:53
25John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto Soudal 0:01:58
26Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:02:01
27Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 0:02:19
28Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:02:23
29Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Nippo Delko Provence 0:03:13
30Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
31Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
32Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis 0:03:14
33Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Circus-Wanty Gobert 0:03:24
34Connor Swift (GBr) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:03:25
35Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 0:03:45
36Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:07
37Victor Campenaerts (Bel) NTT Pro Cycling
38Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:04:16
39Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:20
40Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:04:34
41Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:04:35
42Damien Touze (Fra) Cofidis 0:04:44
43Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain McLaren 0:04:48
44Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:51
45Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:05:08
46Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:05:16
47Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
48Ryan Gibbons (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling 0:05:45
49Michael Hundahl (Den) NTT Pro Cycling 0:06:11
50Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:06:14
51Roman Kreuziger (Cze) NTT Pro Cycling 0:06:32
52Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:06:45
53Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling 0:06:51
54Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:06:56
55Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis 0:07:28
56Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ 0:07:56
57Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale 0:07:57
58Julien Vermote (Bel) Cofidis 0:08:05
59Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:08:11
60Sebastian Schönberger (Aut) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept 0:08:22
61Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain McLaren 0:08:46
62Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:08:49
63Aime De Gendt (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert 0:08:55
64Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:09:12
65Julien Trarieux (Fra) Nippo Delko Provence 0:09:21
66Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Nippo Delko Provence 0:09:42