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"I did not lose too much and I hope I can improve in the week-end stages, especially in the uphill time trial,”

Photo: A.S.O.




12.03.2015 @ 21:40 Posted by Andy Pedersen

The first stage of climbing took place on Thursday’s stage 4 at the 73rd Paris – Nice with Team Katusha’s Simon Špilak part of the action. The Slovenian rider attacked in the final 3 km and gained ground on the final pitch but lacked just a little to see the podium atop the category 1 Croix de Chaubouret.


“It was a good test for me in the mountains. I tried to do my best today. In the final I attacked and was in front, but later I missed some energy required to counterattack again. I did not lose too much and I hope I can improve in the week-end stages, especially in the uphill time trial,” said Simon Špilak, referring to the closing stage on Sunday.


Špilak took tenth place on the stage behind winner Richie Porte of Sky. Teammate Geraint Thomas was second on same time and Michal Kwiatkowski from Etixx – Quick Step was at 8-seconds for third place.


Team director Dmitry Konyshev liked what he saw from Team Katusha on today’s stage which was stacked with 8 climbs throughout the course.


“Today we wanted to try something on the last climb and we had five riders in the front group. But later Egor Silin crashed and could not help the team. With 3 km to go Simon did a good attack together with two other riders. They had a small gap but inside the final km the other favourites came back so he ended up in tenth. Tiago was also close so we still have two important stages and we will fight there,”  said Dmitry Konyshev.


Tiago Machado moved to ninth place (+0.50) on the classification behind new leader Michal Kwiatkowski. Simon Špilak is 11th, 52 seconds behind the leader.


The stage began in Varennes-sur-Allier and ended in the snow fields of Croix de Chaubouret after 204 km. The final climb started with 10 km to go and with no big selection made at this point, several attacks came on the early part of the climb. Team Sky drilled from the front, setting a fast pace that finally distanced many of the riders. Porte made his winning move at 1 km to go.


Tomorrow’s stage begins in Saint-Étienne and ends in Rasteau after 192,5 km. 



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