tuesday 06 March 2012 at 19h33

The third stage of Paris-Nice 2012 took place today between Vierzon and the Lac de Vassivière over a distance of 194 kilometers. A 3 riders strong breakaway animated this stage, but once they were taken back, the final uphill part of the stage towards the lake allowed this stage to finish in a bunch sprint, sprint which was won by Alejandro Valverde of Movistar Team.

The summary of the 3rd stage of Paris-Nice 2012

The start in Vierzon took place at the end of this morning, with 173 riders at the start. Indeed Andy Schleck (Radioshack-Nissan) decided not to come to the start because of an acute gastroenteritis. Aidis Kruopis (GreenEDGE) didn't start either.

Andy Schleck declared about his abandon that he really wanted to try. But against sickness you cannot do a lot. I need to let my body recover from this. This is bad news, I wanted to perform well in Paris-Nice, but I better not jeopardize the rest of the season. My goals are situated later in the season. His directeur sportif, Alain Gallopin, explained that the decision was taken only this morning in the bus: Already yesterday before the stage, Andy didn't feel good. He was able to finish the stage but that costed a lot of energy. This morning Andy felt better, but in the bus he got stomach problems and high temperature again. That's why we decided not to let him take the start, while not being healthy.

The start of this stage was moved up a few kilometers so it would be after a train crossing which could have disturbed the first part of the stage.

The breakawayRight from the start, Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank) decided to attack, followed in this attack by Roy Curvers (Project 1t4i) and Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur-Sojasun). Sometimes we say about breakaways that their gap increases quickly ... here this seems to be an understatement because their gap increased really quickly.

Indeed, their gap rapidly went up to 4 minutes and got at its maximum of 4'25" around km 75 and than remained stable around 4'20". Behind them, the peloton was the whole day long led by the men in black of Team Sky, the team with the yellow jersey, Bradley Wiggins.

On top of the Côte de Bourganeuf, the Dutch rider Roy Curvers crossed the line first in this village of the Limousin region. Jimmy Engoulvent followed him and Michael Morkov took the 3rd place there. At this point, their gap was still 2'35" with only 26.5 kilometers to go until the finish line on the side of the Lac de Vassivière.

The gap however went down rather quickly from there and Jimmy Engoulvent thus decided at 14 kilometers from the finish to give it a last try with a solo attack. While the other riders of the breakaway were taken back by the peloton, Engoulvent only had a 7 seconds gap on the peloton at the intermediate sprint in Peyrat-le-Château.

Sergey LagutinOnce the whole bunch came back together, it was up to Sergey Lagutin to give it a try, in the climb towards the Lac de Vassivière and the rider of the Vacansoleil-DCM team created a very small gap, enough though to allow him to stay ahead of the peloton until the arch of the last kilometer. While approaching the finish line, several riders however intensified the pursuit and the stage finally ended in a bunch sprint. This sprint was won with only millimeters difference by Alejandro Valverde (Team Movistar), ahead of Simon Gerrans (GreenEDGE).

The classifications of Paris-Nice 2012 after the 3rd stage: Vierzon > Lac de Vassivière

At the end of this 3rd stage of Paris-Nice 2012, the classifications are now as follows:


Stage classification

Alejandro ValverdeHere's the top 10 of this stage:

1/ Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) - 4h36'19"
2/ Simon Gerrans (GreenEDGE Cycling Team)
3/ Gianni Meersman (Lotto-Belisol Team)
4/ Luis-Leon Sanchez (Rabobank)
5/ Xavier Florencio (Katusha Team)
6/ Eros Capecchi (Liquigas-Cannondale)
7/ Maxime Monfort (Radioshack-Nissan)
8/ Jonathan Hivert (Saur-Sojasun)
9/ Francesco Gavazzi (Astana)
10/ Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)

General classification

Bradley WigginsIn the general classification of Paris-Nice 2012, there have not been any changes after this 3rd stage:

1/ Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) - 9h09'51"
2/ Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) - +0'06"
3/ Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) - +0'11"
4/ Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) - +0'14"
5/ Maxime Monfort (Radioshack-Nissan) - +0'18"
6/ Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) - +0'20"
7/ Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) - +0'22"
8/ Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar Team) - +0'29"
9/ Simon Spilak (Katusha Team) - +0'33"
10/ Robert Kiserlovski (Astana) - +0'36"

Points classification

Alejandro ValverdeWith his stage victory, Alejandro Valverde took anough points to take the green jersey of the points classification. Tom Boonen, who was wearing the green jersey at the start of the stage, drops back to the 3rd place:

1/ Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) - 39 points
2/ Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) - 36 points
3/ Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) - 35 points
4/ Maxime Monfort (Radioshack-Nissan) - 35 points
5/ Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) - 34 points

King of the Mountains classification

Thomas de GendtThe King of the Mountains classification also remains unchanged with Thomas de Gendt still leading it:

1/ Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) - 6 points
2/ Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) - 4 points
3/ Roy Curvers (Project 1t4i) - 4 points
4/ Olivier Kaisen (Lotto-Belisol Team) - 4 points
5/ Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) - 2 points


Best young rider

Tejay van GarderenTejay van Garderen still is the best young rider and his leading position remains quite comfortable in this classification:

1/ Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) - 9h10'02"
2/ Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky) - +3'01"
3/ Davide Malacarne (Team Europcar) - +3'07"
4/ Dominik Nerz (Liquigas-Cannondale) - +3'40"
5/ Gaëtan Bille (Lotto-Belisol Team) - +3'46"

The photos of the 3rd stage of Paris-Nice 2012: Vierzon > Lac de Vassivière

The first photos of the Vierzon > Lac de Vassivière stage have been published during the stage and tonight the selection of photos has been completed to come to a total of 66 photos. You can see them by clicking on the link below:

> The photos of the 3rd stage of Paris-Nice 2012: Vierzon > Lac de Vassivière

door Thomas Vergouwen
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this publication is published in: Paris-Nice 2012 | Paris-Nice


There are 1 comments!
  1. http://www.les-actus-du-cyclisme.fr/article-paris-nice-2012-alejandro-valverde-en-costaud-au-lac-de-vassiviere-101000832.html

    | Roland TISSIER | Wednesday 07 March 2012 om 09h34

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