Paris-Nice 2015: Power-win by new leader Michael Matthews

Stage 3 in Paris-Nice takes the riders in 179 kilometres through the heart of France from Saint-Amand-Montrond to Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule. Gilbert is alert on the climbs and takes the polka dot jersey, but the big man today is Michael Matthews. He powers to the stage-win and takes the yellow jersey also. (Slideshow route/profile)

Paris – Nice 2015: Results 3rd stage

1. Michael Matthews (aus)
2. Davide Cimolai (ita) s.t.
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (ita) s.t.
4. Alexander Kristoff (nor) s.t.
5. José Joaquin Rojas (spa) s.t.
6. Matti Breschel (den) s.t.
7. Moreno Hofland (nld) s.t.
8. Nacer Bouhanni (fra) s.t.
9. Bryan Coquard (fra) s.t.
10. Arnaud Démare (fra) s.t.

GC after the 3rd stage
1. Michael Matthews (aus)
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (pol) + 0.01
3. Rohan Dennis (aus) s.t.
4. John Degenkolb (ger) + 0.03
5. Tony Martin (ger) + 0.08
6. Luis León Sánchez (spa) + 0.11
7. Sylvain Chavanel (fra) s.t.
8. Tom Dumoulin (nld) + 0.14
9. Geraint Thomas (gbr) s.t.
10. Philippe Gilbert (bel) s.t.

12. Tejay van Garderen (usa) + 0.15
13. Richie Porte (aus) + 0.16
14. Wilco Kelderman (nld) + 0.17
27. Rui Costa (por) + 0.21
35. Tim Wellens (bel) + 0.26
37. Andrew Talansky (usa) + 0.26

Former world champion Philippe Gilbert is eyeing up the polka dot jersey and jumps off the front op the pack with Florian Vachon. The Walloon gets what he is aiming for when cresting the Côte de la Croix du Chene. Gilbert takes full score, Vachon is second and Hivert third, meaning Gilbert is the virtual mountain king in Paris-Nice.

The escapees’ gain is dropped from a maximum of 5 minutes to under 1 minute with 70 kilometres done. Then Thomas Voeckler takes the opportunity and bridges the gap. With three upfront the gap balloons again to over 5 minutes. It lingers there for a while.

Again the first to crest Côte de la Bosse, Gilbert will be in the polka dot jersey tomorrow. Operation accomplished! To be certain the former World Champions is the first to crest Côte de Vicq also.

With 19 km’s left the gap is down to 0’37” and Philippe Gilbert calls it a day. So that’s only Vachon and Voeckler left upfront. When they are about to get caught at 10 kilometres Tiralongo bridges the gap and Bakelants and Bardet follow the Italian’s example. Soon Vachon and Voeckler are history upfront.

With 2 kilometres left the three are brought back by the pack.

Paris – Nice 2015 stage 3: Images and more

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Michael Matthews

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