Paris-Nice: Voeckler grabs dramatic fourth stage, De Gendt recaptures yellow jersey
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Paris-Nice: Voeckler grabs dramatic fourth stage, De Gendt recaptures yellow jersey

by Shane Stokes at 12:51 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Paris-Nice
Tommy V and Tommy DG beat the bunch

Thomas VoecklerOne day after promising to keep trying for a stage win, French champion Thomas Voeckler delivered on that vow when he grabbed a dramatic stage victory in Paris-Nice. The Team Europcar captain was one of four breakaway riders who stayed out front until the final kilometres, this quartet fending off the chase of the main bunch due, mostly, to the relentless driving of stage one winner Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil).

The Belgian was on a stubborn mission to get back the yellow jersey he lost yesterday to stage three winner Matt Goss (HTC Highroad), and picked up first place in the two intermediate sprints during the 191 kilometre stage. Knowing that this could put him back at the top, he was utterly committed in making sure the break reached the line. Voeckler also rode hard but also conserved a little for the final sprint in Belleville, which he won ahead of Reme Pauriol (FDJ), De Gendt and Remi Di Gregorio (Astana).

“I am waiting since 2003, since my first Paris-Nice, to win a stage here,” he enthused afterwards. “I was second on two occasions, including last year. So it's a big satisfaction to do it today. I told myself that with the hills that were there today, that it would be better to go from a long way out to have more of a chance. “

Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo) and Peter Sagan (Liquigas) led in the defeated peloton, some 13 seconds later. That put De Gendt back at the top of the general classification, ten seconds ahead of Voeckler and sixteen up on Pauriol. Goss dropped to fourth, 21 seconds back.

“Initially I just wanted to go to take the intermediate sprint bonus seconds,” admitted a delighted De Gendt. “I thought I'd end up with Goss in the bunch, but that I could recover the yellow jersey. Finally we continued to race, and they didn’t succeed in bringing us back.”

The break got going just six kilometres after the start in Crêches-sur-Saône, when De Gendt, Voeckler and Pauriol surged clear. Nine kilometres later Di Gregorio and Francis De Greef (Omega Pharma-Lotto) bridged across and together the quintet eked out a lead of over five minutes.

The riders had the shared goal of trying to stay away until the end, but also each rider had his own motivation. For De Gendt, yellow was the thing that spurred him on. For Voeckler, Di Gregorio and De Greef, it was a possible stage win. Pauriol also fancied the thoughts of the latter, but he occupied himself with the goal of taking first at the summit of as many of the day’s seven category three and two climbs as possible. He was the most consistent of those in the break in winning five/six primes, and ended the day in the King of the Mountains jersey.

De Gendt admitted afterwards t hat he didn’t really believe that they could do it. “I had good legs, so I chose to ride in front. But I was not expecting it at all,” he said. “I just rode for the yellow jersey.”

Indeed, with 50 kilometres to go, the gap was just two minutes fifteen seconds and this made it doubtful that they could stay clear. But they were in a defiant mood and wanted to make the peloton work for it, so they really started to put the hammer down. Their advantage was reduced by a minute over the next thirty kilometres, but while the lead group dropped to four when De Greef cracked sixteen kilometres from the finish, the remaining four were fully committed and dug in even further.

Behind, the chase was faltering a little and Quick Step’s Jerome Pineau accelerated clear. He was recaptured two kilometres later and while teams such as Garmin-Cervélo and Sky Procycling drove the bunch along, the quartet still had 28 seconds advantage three kilometres from the line.

They conceded only five seconds over the next two kilometres and, with De Gendt being totally committed to keeping them clear, remained well ahead to the line. There Voeckler led out the sprint and held off a hard-chasing Pauriol to grabby his first-ever Paris-Nice stage win.

The race gets more difficult from this point onwards, and the general classification battle will continue to ramp up. Both Voeckler and De Gendt are playing down their chances at this point. “Tomorrow is a difficult stage, and I have about thirty seconds ahead of the real climbers,” said the latter. “Maybe this will be enough, but I do not think so.”

Voeckler is a solid climber, but fears another type of stage. “I know that in 2004, I managed to go from the tricolour jersey [of French champion] to the yellow jersey in the Tour de France,” he said. “I wish I could do it on Paris-Nice, but with the time trial on Friday, I don’t think I have any chance of winning.”

That’s what they are saying now, but if today’s performance made anything clear, it’s that the pairing of Thomas and Thomas will not go quietly in this race. They’ll continue fighting, continue attacking, and Paris-Nice will be all the better because of it.


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2011 Paris-Nice, Stage 4 Results: Crêches-sur-Saône to Belleville (191 km)

  Click on the arrowsat the top of the column to sort the race results.
Country Result Name Team Time
fra FRA 1 Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) 05:04:20
fra FRA 2 Rémi Pauriol (FDJ) s.t.
bel BEL 3 Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
fra FRA 4 Remy Di Gregorio (Astana) s.t.
aus AUS 5 Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo) 00:00:13
svk SVK 6 Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
fra FRA 7 Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
fra FRA 8 Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) s.t.
slo SLO 9 Grega Bole (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
sui SUI 10 Danilo Wyss (BMC Racing) s.t.
esp ESP 11 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Movistar Team) s.t.
bel BEL 12 Jürgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
fra FRA 13 Jérôme Pineau (Quick Step) s.t.
ita ITA 14 Francesco Reda (Quick Step) s.t.
kaz KAZ 15 Dmitriy Fofonov (Astana) s.t.
fra FRA 16 Yoann Offredo (FDJ) s.t.
esp ESP 17 Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Movistar Team) s.t.
kaz KAZ 18 Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) s.t.
fra FRA 19 Tony Gallopin (Cofidis) s.t.
ger GER 20 Andreas Klöden (RadioShack) s.t.
irl IRL 21 Nicolas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
ger GER 22 Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
ita ITA 23 Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
slo SLO 24 Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack) s.t.
ger GER 25 Linus Gerdemann (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
usa USA 26 Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
fra FRA 27 Cyril Gautier (Europcar) s.t.
esp ESP 28 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
bel BEL 29 Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
esp ESP 30 Iñaki Isasi Flores (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
fra FRA 31 Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ) s.t.
cze CZE 32 Roman Kreuziger (Astana) s.t.
esp ESP 33 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Rabobank) s.t.
fra FRA 34 Amaël Moinard (BMC Racing) s.t.
ned NED 35 Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) s.t.
fra FRA 36 Geoffroy Lequatre (RadioShack) s.t.
fra FRA 37 Perrig Quemeneur (Europcar) s.t.
fra FRA 38 Vincent Jerome (Europcar) s.t.
fra FRA 39 Tristan Valentin (Cofidis) s.t.
esp ESP 40 David Lopez Garcia (Movistar Team) s.t.
den DEN 41 Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
esp ESP 42 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
slo SLO 43 Kristjan Koren (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
esp ESP 44 Pablo Urtasun Perez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
est EST 45 Rein Taaramäe (Cofidis) s.t.
cro CRO 46 Robert Kiserlovski (Astana) s.t.
fra FRA 47 Julien El Fares (Cofidis) s.t.
esp ESP 48 Markel Irizar Aranburu (RadioShack) s.t.
sui SUI 49 Steve Morabito (BMC Racing) s.t.
esp ESP 50 Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
slo SLO 51 Simon Spilak (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
usa USA 52 Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) s.t.
fra FRA 53 Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) s.t.
bel BEL 54 Maxime Monfort (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
esp ESP 55 Juan Manuel Garate Cepa (Rabobank) s.t.
swe SWE 56 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) s.t.
fra FRA 57 Pierre Rolland (Europcar) s.t.
lux LUX 58 Fränk Schleck (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
bel BEL 59 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
fra FRA 60 Sylvain Calzati (Bretagne-Schuller) s.t.
aus AUS 61 Simon Gerrans (Team Sky) s.t.
ita ITA 62 Diego Ulissi (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
ita ITA 63 Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
uzb UZB 64 Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
esp ESP 65 Xavier Tondo Volpini (Movistar Team) s.t.
rus RUS 66 Vladimir Gusev (Katusha) s.t.
fra FRA 67 Arthur Vichot (FDJ) s.t.
rus RUS 68 Eduard Vorganov (Katusha) s.t.
fra FRA 69 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
bel BEL 70 Bart De Clercq (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
fra FRA 71 Christophe Le Mevel (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
fra FRA 72 Hubert Dupont (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
can CAN 73 Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
blr BLR 74 Kanstantsin Siutsou (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
den DEN 75 Nicki Sörensen (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
gbr GBR 76 Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) s.t.
fra FRA 77 Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
usa USA 78 Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
ger GER 79 Grischa Niermann (Rabobank) s.t.
den DEN 80 Chris Anker Sörensen (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
bel BEL 81 Jurgen Van De Walle (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
aus AUS 82 Richie Porte (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
ita ITA 83 Mauro Finetto (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
bel BEL 84 Kevin De Weert (Quick Step) s.t.
ned NED 85 Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank) s.t.
ger GER 86 Jens Voigt (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
rus RUS 87 Yury Trofimov (Katusha) s.t.
por POR 88 Bruno Manuel Silva Pires (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
ned NED 89 Pieter Weening (Rabobank) s.t.
lux LUX 90 Laurent Didier (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
ned NED 91 Rob Ruijgh (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
por POR 92 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (RadioShack) s.t.
fra FRA 93 Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
ned NED 94 Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank) s.t.
aus AUS 95 Michael Rogers (Team Sky) s.t.
bel BEL 96 Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
fra FRA 97 Florian Guillou (Bretagne-Schuller) s.t.
fra FRA 98 Pierrick Fedrigo (FDJ) s.t.
ger GER 99 Dominik Nerz (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
aho AHO 100 Marc De Maar (Quick Step) s.t.
ned NED 101 Karsten Kroon (BMC Racing) s.t.
bel BEL 102 Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
rus RUS 103 Serguei Ivanov (Katusha) s.t.
bel BEL 104 Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
usa USA 105 Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) s.t.
esp ESP 106 Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Movistar Team) s.t.
ita ITA 107 Eros Capecchi (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
fra FRA 108 Sandy Casar (FDJ) s.t.
fra FRA 109 Eric Berthou (Bretagne-Schuller) s.t.
esp ESP 110 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Cofidis) s.t.
fra FRA 111 Jérémy Roy (FDJ) s.t.
usa USA 112 Matthew Busche (RadioShack) s.t.
col COL 113 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Team Sky) s.t.
ned NED 114 Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
ita ITA 115 Ivan Santaromita (BMC Racing) s.t.
fra FRA 116 Mickaël Buffaz (Cofidis) s.t.
aus AUS 117 Matthew Goss (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
ita ITA 118 Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas-Cannondale) 00:00:33
ita ITA 119 Matteo Bono (Lampre-ISD) 00:00:43
bel BEL 120 Francis De Greef (Omega Pharma-Lotto) 00:00:50
den DEN 121 Lars Ytting Bak (HTC-Highroad) 00:13:10
den DEN 122 Alex Rasmussen (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
ned NED 123 Jos Van Emden (Rabobank) s.t.
usa USA 124 Jeff Louder (BMC Racing) s.t.
den DEN 125 Brian Bach Vandborg (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
den DEN 126 Mads Christensen (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
ltu LTU 127 Tomas Vaitkus (Astana) s.t.
ukr UKR 128 Andriy Grivko (Astana) s.t.
rus RUS 129 Nikolai Trussov (Katusha) s.t.
ita ITA 130 Alessandro Spezialetti (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
bel BEL 131 Yannick Eijssen (BMC Racing) s.t.
pol POL 132 Maciej Paterski (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
esp ESP 133 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Movistar Team) s.t.
esp ESP 134 Jose Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Movistar Team) s.t.
fra FRA 135 Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Schuller) s.t.
fra FRA 136 Romain Hardy (Bretagne-Schuller) s.t.
fra FRA 137 Pierre Cazaux (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
fra FRA 138 Renaud Dion (Bretagne-Schuller) s.t.
rsa RSA 139 Robert Hunter (RadioShack) s.t.
gbr GBR 140 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) s.t.
fra FRA 141 Sébastien Turgot (Europcar) s.t.
fra FRA 142 Alexandre Pichot (Europcar) s.t.
fra FRA 143 Gaël Malacarne (Bretagne-Schuller) s.t.
fra FRA 144 Sébastien Minard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
fra FRA 145 Damien Gaudin (Europcar) s.t.
fra FRA 146 Brice Feillu (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
usa USA 147 Danny Pate (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
nzl NZL 148 Gregory Henderson (Team Sky) s.t.
bel BEL 149 Wouter Weylandt (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
fra FRA 150 Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
bel BEL 151 Leif Hoste (Katusha) s.t.
fra FRA 152 Anthony Ravard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
fra FRA 153 Jean-Luc Delpech (Bretagne-Schuller) s.t.
esp ESP 154 Jorge Azanza Soto (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
esp ESP 155 Xabier Zandio Echaide (Team Sky) s.t.
esp ESP 156 Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
fra FRA 157 Cédric Pineau (FDJ) s.t.
esp ESP 158 Jose Vicente Garcia Acosta (Movistar Team) s.t.
fin FIN 159 Jussi Veikkanen (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
esp ESP 160 Oscar Pujol Muñoz (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
ned NED 161 Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
gbr GBR 162 Daniel Lloyd (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
gbr GBR 163 Jeremy Hunt (Team Sky) s.t.
ukr UKR 164 Oleksandr Kvachuk (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
ita ITA 165 Daniele Righi (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
ger GER 166 Andreas Stauff (Quick Step) s.t.
rus RUS 167 Pavel Brutt (Katusha) 00:26:36
nor NOR 168 Gabriel Rasch (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.

General classification after stage 4

Country Result Name Team Time
bel BEL 1 Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) 19:26:46
fra FRA 2 Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) 00:00:10
fra FRA 3 Rémi Pauriol (FDJ) 00:00:16
aus AUS 4 Matthew Goss (HTC-Highroad) 00:00:21
fra FRA 5 Remy Di Gregorio (Astana) 00:00:24
aus AUS 6 Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo) 00:00:27
fra FRA 7 Jérémy Roy (FDJ) 00:00:30
fra FRA 8 Tony Gallopin (Cofidis) 00:00:31
fra FRA 9 Cyril Gautier (Europcar) 00:00:32
ger GER 10 Jens Voigt (Leopard-Trek) 00:00:35

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