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Alberto Contador (Astana) wins the stage in Mende and takes the yellow jersey, Spain reigns in Paris-Nice 2010

Added: thursday 11 March 2010 at 23:29:00
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    Alberto Contador (Astana) wins the stage in Mende and takes the yellow jersey, Spain reigns in Paris-Nice 2010The 4th stage of Paris-Nice 2010 took place today between Maurs and Mende, over a distance of 173.5 kilometers. The stage was quite similar to the one between those two cities in 2007 and in the end ... the winner was the same as well: Alberto Contador (Astana)!
    While he had to wait until the very last day in 2007 to take the yellow jersey, the Spanish rider is now already leading this Race to the sun.

    A summary of the stage Maurs > Mende

    As usual in this Paris-Nice 2010, a leading group was formed early in the stage, firstly at kilometer 6 with Yaroslav Popovych (Team Radioshack) and Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel-Euskadi). The two leading riders quickly got company from Albert Timmer (Skil-Shimano), who was already at the front of 2 other stages of Paris-Nice 2010, and David Le Lay (AG2R La Mondiale).

    Jérôme PineauWhen this group is taken back, Jérôme Pineau (Quick Step) attacks and this makes him the initiator of a leading group of 7 riders, with Julien Loubet (AG2R La Mondiale), Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Amaël Moinard (Cofidis), Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team), Jean-Marc Marino (Saur-Sojasun) Albert Timmerand again Albert Timmer.
    While these riders are extending their gap, Kévin van Impe (Quick Step) and Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam) decide to leave Paris-Nice 2010.

    At the top of the first climb, the Côte de Montsalvy (4,2 km @ 6%) Amaël Moinard takes the 7 points, ahead of Jean-Marc Marino (5), Mikel Nieve (3), Julien Loubet (2) and Marco Marcato (1) and the peloton arrives at the top 4'30" later.

    The gap continues to grow, up to 4'50", but when the leading group arrives on the top of the Côte de Lassouts (7,5 km @ 3,6 %) (Marino 4 points, Moinard 2, Nieve 1) the gap slowly goes down, to 3'45" at the intermediate sprint in Saint-Geniez-d'Olt (km 106) where Albert Timmer takes the 3 points (and 3 seconds), Jérôme Pineau 2 points/seconds and Amaël Moinard the last point/second.
    About 7 kilometers further, at the top of the Côte de la Crouzette, (3,9 km @ 3,6%), the gap is down to 2'35" and Amaël Moinard takes the 3 points, ahead of Marino (2) and Nieve (1).

    While the gap grows again a little bit at first, the Alberto Contador's Astana team decides to start the pursuit at 30 kilometers from the finish and when Cervélo TestTeam, Liquigas and finally HTC-Columbia also get at front the leading group quickly loses terrain and is taken back by the peloton at 11 kilometers from the finish.

    Brice FeilluIn the forelast climb, the Côte de Chabrits (2,4 km @ 6,8%), Pierre Rolland (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Brice Feillu (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) give it a try but they don't succeed in reproducing the young Feillu's exploit in Arcalis. He takes the 7 points at the top anyway, ahead of Daniel Navarro (Astana, 5), Xavier Tondo (Cervélo TestTeam, 3), Alberto Contador (Astana, 2) and David Lopez Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne, 1). At 3 kilometers from the finish the riders arrive at the last intermediate sprint, in Mende, which was won by Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel-Euskadi, 3 points), ahead of Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom, 2 points) and David Lopez Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne, 1 point).

    Already at the front of the peloton since the forelast climb, Alberto Contador waits for the final climb of the Côte de La Croix Neuve – Montée Laurent Jalabert (3,1 km @ 10,1%) to place his decisive attack. He finally takes 10 seconds on Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) and Samuel Sanchez who finish 2nd and 3rd.
    Jens Voigt (Team Saxo Bank), wearing the yellow jersey, finishes 44 seconds after El Pistolero and thus loses his yellow jersey to the Spanniard.

    Today seemed to be the day of the Spanish coup d'état everyone was expecting since the start of Paris-Nice 2010 with 4 Spanish riders in the top 5 of the stage and 5 in the top 10 of the general classification after this stage. The French riders had a good day as well with 6 of them in the top 15 of the stage (Thomas Voeckler finished 5th at 20 seconds).

    The stage result

    The top 10 of this selective stage is as follows:
    1/ Alberto Contador (Astana) - 4h26'47"
    2/ Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) - +00'10"
    3/ Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) - +00'10"
    4/ Joaquim Rodriguez (Team Katusha) - +00'18"
    5/ Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) - +00'20"
    6/ Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Farnese Vini) - +00'21"
    7/ Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) - +00'21"
    8/ Christophe Le Mével (Française des Jeux) - +00'29"
    9/ Luis Léon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) - +00'29"
    10/ Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) - +00'31"

    The classifications

    General classification (yellow jersey)

    Alberto ContadorAfter this stage, the cards have been redistributed in the general classification, with El Pistolero leading and Luis Léon Sanchez who hands over the leader role in the Caisse d'Epargne team to Alejandro Valverde:
    1/ Alberto Contador (Astana) - 17h07'23"
    2/ Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) - +00'24"
    3/ Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) - +00'25"
    4/ Luis Léon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) - +00'28"
    5/ Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) - +00'29"
    6/ Jens Voigt (Team Saxo Bank) - +00'34"
    7/ Joaquim Rodriguez (Team Katusha) - +00'36"
    8/ Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Doimo) - +00'54"
    9/ David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) - +01'03"
    10/ Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) - +01'06"

    Points classification (green jersey)

    Peter SaganThe young rider of the Liquigas-Doimo team keeps the green jersey:
    1/ Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Doimo) - 64 points
    2/ Jens Voigt (Team Saxo Bank) - 64 points
    3/ Alberto Contador (Astana) - 62 points
    4/ Luis Léon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) - 52 points
    5/ Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) - 43 points

    King of the Mountains (polka dot jersey)

    Laurent MangelThe French rider of the Saur-Sojasun team, Laurent Mangel, also keeps the polka dot jersey:
    1/ Laurent Mangel (Saur-Sojasun) - 18 points
    2/ Yann Huguet (Skil-Shimano) - 14 points
    3/ Alberto Contador (Astana) - 13 points
    4/ Amaël Moinard (Cofidis) - 13 points
    5/ Jean Marc Marino (Saur-Sojasun) - 11 points

    Best young rider classification (white jersey)

    Roman KreuzigerThe youngest rider has to hand over the white jersey to his Swiss team mate:
    1/ Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) - 17h 07' 48"
    2/ Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Doimo) - +00'29"
    3/ Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) - +00'41"
    4/ Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) - +00'51"
    5/ Maxime Bouet (AG2R La Mondiale) - +01'14"

    The other stages of Paris-Nice 2010

    Tomorrow the riders will go from Pernes-les-Fontaines to Aix-en-Provence in the middle mountains. For any further information about Paris-Nice 2010, you can click on one of the following links:
    > The Paris-Nice 2010 route, stage profiles, time and route schedules and Google Maps/Google Earth
    > The list of participating riders for Paris-Nice 2010 with their numbers
    > The photos of the prologue of Paris-Nice 2010 in Montfort-l'Amaury
    > The photos of the finish of Paris-Nice 2010 in Limoges
    > The photos of the start of Paris-Nice 2010 in Saint-Junien

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Paris-Nice| Paris-Nice 2010 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati


Currently 1 comments!
  1. http://www.cyclisme-roltiss-over.com/article-alberto-contador-astana-remporte-l-etape-a-mende-photos-46538673.html

    | Roland TISSIER | friday 12 March 2010 at 10:25:37

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