Paris-Nice (st. 3)
Carapaz, Soler stay into GC group at Charbonnnières climb, complete first hilly stage in Paris-Nice in peloton -alongside Sepúlveda, Carretero-, prior to Wednesday’s TT.
Spaniard Luis León Sánchez (AST) took over the GC lead in the 2018 Paris-Nice race on Tuesday after finishing 2nd on stage three in Châtel-Guyon, as part of a three-man breakaway with Rémy Di Gregorio (DMP) and stage winner Jonathan Hivert (TDE). The trio jumped away from the favourites’ group into the downhill of the Côte des Charbonnières (Cat-3), where QST and AST had previously set a really hard pace into a shrinking peloton where two of the Movistar Team’s youngsters always featured prominently: Marc Soler -who wore the white jersey as best under-26 rider at the start of the day- and Richard Carapaz.
The Spaniard and the Ecuadorian remained inside a pursuit group of about twenty riders, later joined by a second peloton -including Eduardo Sepúlveda and Héctor Carretero- which featured then-GC-leader Arnaud Démare (GFC). The four Blues crossed the finish line 38″ after the leaders, which keeps Marc -now 3rd in the Young riders’ standings, behind Felix Grosschartner (BOH) and Thomas Boudat (TDE)- and Richard with the same time of the other GC contenders, 43″ behind Sánchez.
The ‘Course to the Sun’ will start setting significant GC time gaps, other than the race leader itself, at Wednesday’s 18.4km ITT from La Fouillouse to Saint-Étienne, over a route including a long climb in its first half and a short, sharp ascent just four kilometers from the end, which could open up significant margins.
— TT start times (all CET): 14.30 Erviti, 14.36 Dayer, 14.48 Barbero, 14.55 Carretero, 14.56 Sepúlveda, 15.47 Carapaz, 15.51 Soler
Carapaz picture (c): Roberto Bettini / BettiniPhoto.net