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"We're really focused for tomorrow. We'll make a plan for how we're going to tackle the stage, but all the guys are super motivated."

Photo: Sirotti








11.03.2015 @ 21:29 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Sky head into the mountains in a strong position following a safe passage through stage three at Paris-Nice.


Both Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte finished comfortably in the main peloton in Saint-Pourcain-sur-Sioule, and now head into Thursday’s summit finish with everything to play for.


The pair sit 14 and 16 seconds respectively behind new race leader Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge), who also took top honours on the day's tricky uphill finish.


Italian pairing Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) rounded out the podium positions, while time bonuses also elevated Matthews into the yellow jersey.


Ben Swift led Team Sky home in 13th on the stage after being forced to start his sprint from a long way back.


Team Sky stuck together across the 179km route, with Bradley Wiggins accelerating briefly before sitting back up early on as the day’s breakaway established itself.


Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) and Florian Vachon (Bretagne Seche Environnment) had pushed clear out of Saint-Amand-Montrond as the fourth day of action kicked off.


The gap to the duo suddenly began to fall rapidly but the move was saved by Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), who bridged across and gave new impetus to the attack. The gap quickly spun back out to five minutes.


Yet the peloton were not in the mood to be denied, even if a late attack in the final 10km from Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) and Ag2r – La Mondiale duo Romain Bardet and Jan Bakelants made them work extra hard for their sprint.



With the complexion of the race about the change completely, Sport Director Nicolas Portal previewed the test which arrives off the back of a disjointed race thus far.


He said: "We're really focused for tomorrow. We'll make a plan for how we're going to tackle the stage, but all the guys are super motivated. 


"It's been a strange Paris-Nice so far. Today was a bit harder than the last two days. But obviously tomorrow a lot of guys are going to be fresh. I think the start is going to be really important. A lot of riders are going to try and get into the break. It will be a nice stage to watch on the TV that's for sure!"



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