Yet another stage victory and yellow jersey coup in Paris-Nice 2013 : Andrew Talansky takes it all in Brioude
The 3rd stage of Paris-Nice 2013 took place in the rain, with a long breakaway of 4 riders which was taken back before the finish. The sprint didn't turn out to be a bunch sprint like the past few days however since the profile of the last part of this stage allowed a small group to get away and thus have the stage winner among this small selection.
That fortunate rider's name was Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) and since the yellow jersey group with Elia Viviani (Cannondale) himself in front finished almost 3 minutes later, the young American rider also took the yellow jersey.
The summary of the 3rd stage of Paris-Nice 2013: Châtel-Guyon > Brioude
After yesterday's abandon of Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ), Jacob Rathe (Garmin-Sharp) and Alexandre Pichot, 176 riders came to the start in Châtel-Guyon just before noon, José Ivan Gutierrez (Movistar Team) didn't take the start.
All along the stage, the roads between Châtel-Guyon and the finish 170.5 kilometers further in Brioude always remained wet. Indeed, this stage took place under much worse weather conditions than the past few days and the Race to the sun, at least for now, becomes the Race of the leaving sun.
After 3 kilometers in the race, Alexis Vuillermoz (Sojasun) is the first to attack and with this attack he formed, together with Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team), Sébastien Minard (AG2R La Mondiale) and Mads Christensen (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) the breakaway of the day. The last mentioned rider was already in the timid attempt in yesterday's stage but today the Danis rider decided to stay away a bit longer.
Another difference with yesterday was the average speed of the race, which was quite high this afternoon and these 4 riders thus had some difficulty in creating a gap. At kilometer 11 the gap thus was still under one minute but at that time, the peloton seems to have decided to let the 4 leading riders go because 3 kilometers further the gap was already up to 2'15".
At the first intermediate sprint in Joze Christensen took the points, ahead of Vuillermoz and Keizer. The gap goes up just above 4 minutes after 50 kilometers in the race and stabilises around that value.
Today's stage proposed two 3rd category climb and one 2nd category climb at the end of the stage, at only 15 kilometers from the finish. The Dutch rider Martijn Keizer seemed to be decided to want to save the polka dot jersey, so far worn by his team mate Bert-Jan Lindeman, because he arrived on top of the two first climbs first, both times ahead of Vuillermoz.
While the gap of the leading group went up to 4'10" in the mean time, the peloton starts getting closer to the breakaway from about 50 kilometers from the finish, mainly due to the efforts of Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
At the first crossing of Brioude (without crossing the finish line), at 28 kilometers from the finish, the second intermediate sprint is again won by Christensen, ahead of Minard and Vuillermoz, and the gap is down to 1'15" at that point. At 22.5 kilometers from the finish, the 4 leading riders are taken back by the peloton and the whole bunch thus starts the climb of the Côte de Mauvagnat together.
Rapidly we see that this climb is too hard for the sprinters to follow the pace, with yesterday's winner Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) and Tom Boonen quickly dropping from the peloton and a bit later the same goes for the yellow jersey, Elia Viviani (Cannondale).
Maxim Iglinskiy (Astana) tries to get away in the climb but the peloton driven by Team Sky rapidly comes back on him.
In the descent, a small group is formed at the initiative of Andriy Grivko (Astana) (initially accompanied by Vasil Kiryienka of Team Sky but he crashed), together with David Lopez Garcia (Team Sky), Gorka Izaguirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale, the local rider of the stage) and Davide Malacarne (Europcar) while Richie Porte, the leader of Team Sky, and Andrew Talansky, leader of the Garmin-Sharp team, are chasing behind them. At 7 kilometers from the finish, these 7 riders get together while about 20 other riders, including all favourites, start chasing.
In the last few kilometers, even though the 7 leading riders are feeling the breath of the chasing group, they manage to resist and Romain Bardet, who wanted to be visible on the roads around his birth place, was the first to attack. Andrew Talansky quickly answered this attack however and the American rider finally wins this stage.
The classifications after stage 3/ Châtel-Guyon > Brioude of Paris-Nice 2013
The stage classification of 3/ Châtel-Guyon > Brioude
Here's the top 5 of this stage:
1/ Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) - 4h06'15"
2/ Davide Malacarne (Europcar)
3/ Gorka Izaguirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
4/ David Lopez Garcia (Team Sky)
5/ Richie Porte (Team Sky)
After this 3rd stage of Paris-Nice 2013, the general classification gets a complete overhaul since Sylvain Chavanel is the only rider of the previous top 5 to finish in the first group behind the 7 leading riders:
Thanks to his two first places on the two first difficulties of this stage, Martijn Keizer takes over the polka dot jersey of the KOM classification and this jersey thus stays with the Vacansoleil-DCM team. Everything still is possible though in this classification since the first riders only have a few points for now:
Elia Viviani, leader of the general classification, of the young riders classification and of the points classification after yesterday's stage, manages to keep his green jersey of the points classification, 12 points ahead of Borut Bozic (Astana):
For the young riders, it's again the yellow jersey who's in the lead, followed not far down by Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) who will have quite some serious competition for this classification this year:
1/ Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) - 14h39'36"
2/ Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) - +0'16"
3/ Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) - +0'17"
4/ Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) - +0'18"
5/ Egor Silin (Astana) - +0'21" > no comments | shown 6718x
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