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by Shane Stokes
March 7, 2018
Hivert wins stage three of Paris-Nice, Sanchez grabs overall lead; Prudhomme: ‘We need an answer’ in the Froome case; MPCC calls for rule change in wake of Froome case and Wiggins report; Wiggins connected to tax avoidance scheme; 25th anniversary with special-edition flavour; Donnelly adds 650b gravel tire range; Video: British TT specialist Michael Hutchinson says ethics are vital in Wiggins case; Video: Martyn Irvine – The Next Chapter
Proving best out of a breakaway group of three, Frenchman Jonathan Hivert triumphed on stage three of Paris-Nice into Châtel-Guyon. The Direct Energie rider continued the strong form he showed while winning two stages plus the overall in the recent Tour du Haut Var, beating Luis León Sanchez (Astana Pro Team) and Remy Di Gregorio (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) by one second.
Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) led in the main bunch some 38 seconds after Hivert, outsprinting Mike Teunissen (Team Sunweb), André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and the others to the line.
“I didn’t make any plans,” said Hivert. “I knew that I should try to follow the riders who broke clear or I’d be in trouble. I played a little with the two others because in my head I knew I had it won before the line. But I needed to do it first. I progressed well this season and I really wanted to do well in this Paris-Nice. What changed is I had problems with my knees in recent seasons and I had an operation to both knees and now everything’s fine.”
Soon after the start Jay Thomson (Dimension Data), Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie) and Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz (Delko Marseille Provence) attacked and built a maximum lead of seven and a half minutes. Things came back together with 25 kilometres to go, then Julian Alaphilippe (QuickStep Floors) attacked two kilometres from the top of the Cote de Charbonnieres and was joined by Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana).
The latter pushed ahead and was joined by Di Gregorio and Hivert, with the latter taking the stage win and Sanchez grabbing the race lead. He is now 28 seconds ahead of previous race leader Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) and 35 up on Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida).