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by Shane Stokes
March 8, 2018
Poels wins stage 4 TT in Paris-Nice, Sanchez holds race lead; BMC Racing Team wins stage 1 team time trial in Tirreno-Adriatico; Cavendish crashes in Tirreno-Adriatico team time trial, misses time cut; UCI President Lappartient wants investigation into Team Sky; OVO Energy Women’s Tour to match Tour of Britain prize money, route announced; UCI will modify rather than end podium girls role; Tacks dropped on popular cycling roads in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges; Fizik introduces Comfort Guarantee and crash replacement programs; Documentary released on six-time world champion Nino Schurter; CyclingTips Podcast: The chasm between ethics and the law, plus a plea for fun bikes; Video: Full effort with Data – Phil Gaimon’s National Championship climb up Pike’s Peak
Wout Poels gave Team Sky respite in what has been a difficult week, winning the stage 4 time trial at Paris-Nice on Wednesday. The Dutch rider covered the lumpy 18.4km route from La Fouillouse to Saint-Étienne in a time of 25 minutes 33 seconds, beating Marc Soler (Movistar Team) by 11 seconds and Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) by 16.
Overnight leader Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) finished seventh, losing 28 seconds and yielding valuable time to Poels. The latter is now 15 seconds back overall, with Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) at 26 seconds.
Poels was very satisfied with how things turned out. “I saw this morning at the recon that it was a good course for me, especially the first part,” he said. “It was a very good TT for me especially after the bad luck I had yesterday when I had to change my back wheel after Luis Leon Sanchez had gone.
“I don’t know if 15 seconds is too much, I hope not. We will see in the next couple of days. We were two leaders at the start and it did not change much because Sergio (Henao) also rode a good TT. It’s probably better to have more leaders tactically. Changing from eight to seven riders makes it more tricky, tactically, but it’s going to be interesting.”
Sanchez wanted to preserve more of the buffer he build in Tuesday’s breakaway move. “In yesterday’s stage, I left a lot of energy and I could feel today that I was paying for my efforts,” he explained. “I know I lost time on this TT but at the start of this Paris-Nice I was not even here with the idea to go for the yellow jersey. So it’s already bonus to keep it for another day.” He said that with Jakob Fuglsang, the team still has two options for the overall classification and will see how things play out in the days ahead.