Teuns on the Attack in Paris-Nice Stage 3 Finale6. March 2018, Chatel-Guyon (FRA) — Road Team
Stage 3 of Paris-Nice was the first opportunity for a shake up on the General Classification with three categorized climbs in the second half of the stage splitting the field on multiple occasions.
Unlike stage 2 which took 90km for a breakaway to form, three riders went clear as soon as the flag dropped at kilometer 0 and by 20km, of the 210km stage, their advantage was already up to seven minutes.
With a long stage on the cards, the peloton was content to let the trio maintain their advantage for the first half of the stage, and only started to bring them back on the approach to the category three Côte de la Bosse.
On the second climb of the day, the Côte des Boulards, Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie) attacked and distanced himself from his breakaway companions to gain a one-minute advantage but behind, the peloton increased their chase and the gap soon dropped before the race eventually came back together with 35km to go.
It was a battle for position on the approach to the final climb, the 4.6km, 4.7% Côte des Charbonnières, and with 25km to go, Julian Alaphillipe (Quickstep-Floors) attack on the ascent with Dylan Teuns and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) immediately on his wheel.
The pace on the climb caused multiple splits in the bunch and left a reduced group of 20 riders to chase, which Teuns dropped back to in the final kilometer of the climb.
Teuns’ chase group caught the leaders with 21km remaining to form a 25-rider leading group, from which the stage winner would come.
Fresh attacks in the final 20km saw Jonathan Hivert (Direct Energie), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team), and Remy Di Gregorio (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) go clear and establish an advantage of almost one-minute on Teuns’ group while behind, the peloton was closing in on the chase group.
The peloton caught Teuns’ group inside 10km to go but the advantage of the leading trio was too big to be brought back, and on the uphill battle to the line it was Hivert who proved the strongest to take the stage win.
Teuns crossed the line with the bunch to gain a few places on the General Classification to sit in 22nd place, behind new race leader Sanchez, ahead of the stage 4 time trial.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I knew something was going to happen on the final climb. I was in a good spot and I went when Alaphillipe attacked but in my opinion, it was too early. It would have been better to wait closer to the top because then maybe we would have had more guys with us, and guys who all wanted to ride. Because in the end, the acceleration was too fast for me and there was still three or four kilometres to go on the climb. We came back together which was not bad but there were some teams with two or three riders and no one took initiative to ride full gas, so there was no good cooperation together. After all of this effort on the climb, we had nothing. I will give it everything I have in the time trial tomorrow and we will see where I end up.”
Stage 3 Bourges > Chatel-Guyon 210km
Top 3: 1. Jonathan Hivert (Direct Energie), 2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team), 3. Remy Di Gregorio (Delko Marseille Provence KTM)
BMC Racing Team top 3: 37. Dylan Teuns, 47. Alessandro De Marchi, 53. Nicolas Roche.
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