Kwiatkowski moves into Paris-Nice lead

13 Mar 2019

Kwiatkowski moves into Paris-Nice lead

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Paris-Nice stage four: Vichy - Pélussin, 212km

Michal Kwiatkowski moved into the overall lead at Paris-Nice following another composed team performance on the longest stage of the race.

Kwiatkowski finished 10th on stage four as Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) won from a long range breakaway while Egan Bernal moved up to fourth (+11 seconds) as previous leader Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Visma) fell out of contention.

Nielsen prevailed from an initial break of 13, with Team Sky content to help contain their advantage to the five minute mark as none of the escapees were in overall contention before Mitchelton-Scott took on the race in the closing stages.

And while the pace picked up to reduce the leaders' advantage to under a minute as the race sped towards the finish in Pélussin, Nielsen timed an attack to ensure he could not be caught and Kwiatkowski and Bernal finished in the bunch kick to the line.
Reaction

Michal Kwiatkowski

"It was maybe not the plan to take the yellow jersey, but the opportunity was there. We knew that it was going to be a tough stage and very demanding for a lot of sprinters, we were expecting fireworks in the final, and I have to say it was a very strong breakaway and there were so many teams in it, so it gave them an opportunity to stay away. I could “only” take the yellow and not go for the stage win, but we are happy with it still.
 
"It is still beginning of the race and the crucial part of the race Is coming with the TT tomorrow and then the stage to the top of Turini and the last one to Nice. So the weekend is going to be exciting I guess and we are looking forward to try winning the race together with Egan Bernal. Now I am in the leaders jersey, so it is always nice to start the TT as last man, so I have all the splits and maybe even gain some time.
 
"Right now I am the leader, of course, but I believe that Egan can also do really well, and it’s always easier even for myself when you have two cards to play in this race."
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Highlights
Stage four result

1. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) 5:03:49
2. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) +7"
3. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +13"
4. Alessandro De Marchi (CCC) +18"
5. Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) +48"
10. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) s.t.


Overall standings

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) 16:52:27
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) +11"
3. Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +16"
4. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) +11"
5. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) +14"  
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