3.12.2014

Paris-Nice 4: A Winning Duo

The first  hilly stage of the race was expected to bring a earthquake in the GC and so it has been. Caught the daily break-away (including also Laurent Didier) attacks started and the good one was set by the young Slagter, immediately followed by a very strong Thomas. The duo resisted till the line, where Slagter easily won. Thomas can be happy because he's the new race leader. Behinde, the previous Yello Jersey Degenkolb didn't get smashed but bravely chased and he's still in 2nd place. 
As far as Andy Schleck, he got a flat tyre at the worst moment, when the break-away got caught and the peloton was at its highest speed. Bad luck but he didn't look in shape so he would have hardly done anything on that climb. He finished 120 at more than 7'. 
 Good Frank Schleck: 19th today 5'' from the winner

Tom-Jelte Slagter said:
"Really awesome to win a stage in PN. The legs were feeling good the days before, and we knew today would be a chance to make a good result. The boys worked so hard for me, and put me in a good position every time. So it was a real team victory today. I’m really happy to show this for the sponsors and I’m proud of the team. The little cow I got at the podium will make Milan happy hopefully… He’s always on my mind!"

What Geraint Thomas said:
“It’s a massive race. Behind the Grand Tours it’s one of the biggest stage races you can do. So it’s great to wear the jersey, especially after the work the boys have done for me in the last few days. They were really good and I was happy I could repay them and get up there to take the jersey. It’s a great feeling.
I was pretty relaxed on the first few stages and felt like I could move about the bunch nicely and be in a good position. I was on the right side of the splits and those seconds will definitely come in handy I think over the next few days. It would have been nice to have won the stage as well, but when I saw the guys coming with a kilometre to go, I didn’t want to throw away that effort we’d just made. I rode hard and got jumped, but like I say, it’s just great to be wearing the jersey.  I felt decent on the climb and then afterwards I felt like I had a bit of gas left in the tank. It’s all still to race for and it’s going to be tough with four solid days to come. There’s still a lot of good bike riders within a few seconds so it will definitely be interesting racing!”

“It’s a massive race," he told TeamSky.com. "Behind the Grand Tours it’s one of the biggest stage races you can do. So it’s great to wear the jersey, especially after the work the boys have done for me in the last few days. They were really good and I was happy I could repay them and get up there to take the jersey. It’s a great feeling."
A slender advantage at the top of the standings is testament to Thomas riding proactively during the first half of the race.
Despite the tense and hard racing Thomas admitted: "I was pretty relaxed on the first few stages and felt like I could move about the bunch nicely and be in a good position. I was on the right side of the splits and those seconds will definitely come in handy I think over the next few days.
"It would have been nice to have won the stage as well, but when I saw the guys coming with a kilometre to go, I didn’t want to throw away that effort we’d just made.
"I rode hard and got jumped, but like I say, it’s just great to be wearing the jersey.
"I felt decent on the climb and then afterwards I felt like I had a bit of gas left in the tank. It’s all still to race for and it’s going to be tough with four solid days to come. There’s still a lot of good bike riders within a few seconds so it will definitely be interesting racing!”

Read more at http://www.teamsky.com/article/0,27290,30263_9209632,00.html#sSry6qsB4G11obzo.99
What Wilco Kelderman (3rd) said
"I came to the front with the final kilometer, and I tried to attack. I came close to the front, but they sprinted and I could not catch them. I felt good on the climbs, so that's good for the coming days." 

GC
1. Geraint Thomas
2. John Degenkolb
3. Tom-Jelte Slagter
4. Jose Joaquim Rojas
5. Samuel Dumoulin

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