Primož Roglič soloed to victory on the first summit finish of the 2021 Paris-Nice on Wednesday, taking over the yellow jersey. It’s Roglič’s first race of the season.
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The Race So Far
The first two stages went to sprinter, as Sam Bennett prevailed on Sunday to earn the first yellow jersey, and Cees Bol the fastest on Monday, with Michael Matthews assuming the race lead. Tuesday’s third stage was a short time trial, won by EF Education-Nippo’s new sensation Stefan Bissegger, a young Swiss rider in his first full pro season. Primož Roglič was third on Tuesday, and he sat only 6 seconds back on GC.
We love to start our days in pink…
But ending them in yellow is pretty sweet too 🥇
— EF Pro Cycling (@EFprocycling) March 9, 2021
There was a lot of climbing on Stage 4, with seven classified ascents, including six Cat. 2 peaks and a Cat. 1 summit finish on Chiroubles (7.3 km, 6 percent).
We are in for some big changes in the #ParisNice GC!
A hilly stage comprising seven classified climbs, including Chiroubles (7.3km, 6%), which the riders will tackle after 180 kilometers, will make for some exciting racing! pic.twitter.com/eRziYKcBtf
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) March 10, 2021
A sextet of fugitives shuffled away early. King of the Mountains leader Fabien Doubey (France/Total Direct Energie) was in the mix but he couldn’t stop Anthony Perez (France/Cofidis) from being first over Col des Chèvres, Col de la Pistole, Côte de Croix de Montmain, Côte de la roche de Solutré, and Mont Brouilly. Jumbo-Visma pulled in the peloton.
On a Cat. 2 that wasn’t being counted as a KOM point but instead as an intermediate sprint, Col de Durbize, Doubey lost contact with the breakaway, and Bissegger struggled to keep contact with the peloton.
With 30 km and two more climbs to go, the fugitives were still 2:30 ahead. Bora-Hansgrohe, whose Max Schachmann is the reigning champion, took over the front of the peloton, with Ineos and Israel Start-up Nation joining in.
On the last Cat. 2, Mont Brouilly once more, the pace was frantic, and Bissegger finally popped.
— Paris-Nice (@ParisNice) March 10, 2021
A couple of moves flared off the front in the valley between Brouilly and Chiroubles, a single remaining fugitive still up the road. The three riders were within 54 seconds of the field as Chiroubles kicked up.
The last of the escapees were captured with 3 km left to climb.
Roglič attacked and immediately forced a gap. A large chase group found itself 20 seconds in arrears at the red kite.
It was a fine day for Jumbo-Visma in the WorldTour, as Roglič took the win in France and Wout Van Aert triumphed in the first stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.
Jumbo-Visma double in the Race To The Sun Between Two Seas.
— Felix Lowe (@saddleblaze) March 10, 2021
Thursday’s route has some lumps in it, but it should be one for the sprinters.
2021 Paris-Nice Stage 4
1) Primož Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma) 4:49:36
2) Max Schachmann (Germany/Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:12
3) Guillaume Martin (France/Cofidis) s.t.
2021 Paris-Nice GC
1) Primož Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma) 13:26:40
2) Max Schachmann (Germany/Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:35
3) Brandon McNulty (USA/UAE-Emirates) +0:37