On Wedesday Guillaume Boivin was quoted in Cyclingnews as being confident in the health of the Paris-Nice riders in light of coronavirus scares, but the Canadian who plies his trade for Israel Start-Up Nation will no longer play a part in the only WorldTour race going ahead in the first three weeks of March, his withdrawal coming after a crash on Stage 3.
We regretfully announce that our Canadian 🇨🇦 tough man @Guillaumeboivin is out of #ParisNice. G was involved in a nasty crash yesterday. Still suffering from headaches this morning, the decision was made to take him out of the race. Next: pic.twitter.com/EhQJ2GZhi9
— Israel Start-Up Nation / Israel Cycling Academy (@YallaIsraelSUN) March 11, 2020
It was a crash-marred stage, with Boivin’s wreck coming soon after Michael Woods’ near the back of the peloton. Woods finished in a small group +5:50 of stage winner Ivan Cortina (Spain/Cortina) and dropped away from any hope of the top-20 on GC. Boivin came in after Woods.
Sprinter Sam Bennett (Ireland/Deceuninck-Quick Step) had to withdraw with cuts on the fingers of his right hand after a crash in the final 500-metres of the field sprint. Bennett also received a fine and deduction of UCI points after bullying Nairo Quintana in the build up to the sprint.
— Daan van den Berg (@daanvandenberg) March 10, 2020
Boivin’s assurances that the riders are in no danger of catching the virus comes at the same time that Jasper Stuyven and Thomas De Gendt have expressed their doubt that the race will see the finish–and the sun–in Nice. Stuyven commented that in the peloton “90 percent assume that we will not get to Nice”, while De Gendt told Het Laatste Nieuws that some believe Paris-Nice could be the final race of the season.
Meanwhile, the race continued on Wednesday with a hilly 15-km chrono.
🇫🇷 #ParisNice | STAGE 4
Our riders will be taking to the race against the clock in the ITT today:
— BORA – hansgrohe (@BORAhansgrohe) March 11, 2020
Race leader Max Schachmann bolstered his lead at the top of the GC by coming runner-up to Dane Søren Kragh Andersen of Sunweb. Sergio Higuita, Dylan Teuns and Vincenzo Nibali seem like the only real threats to Schachmann before the race reaches the mountains.
Woods was top Canadian at 66th on Wednesday, while Woods was 54th.
2020 Paris-Nice Stage 4
1) Søren Kragh Andersen (Denmark/Sunweb) 18:51
2) Max Schachmann (Germany/Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:06
3) Kasper Asgren (Denmark/Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0:12
66) Michael Woods (Canada/EF Pro Cycling) +1:27
108) Antoine Duchesne (Canada/Groupama-FDJ) +2:29
2020 Paris-Nice GC
1) Max Schachmann (Germany/Bora-Hansgrohe) 13:30:58
2) Søren Kragh Andersen (Denmark/Sunweb) +0:58
3) Felix Großschartner (Austria/Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:01
48) Antoine Duchesne (Canada/Groupama-FDJ) +6:53
54) Michael Woods (Canada/EF Pro Cycling) +8:12