Cycling: Tadej Pogacar wins the 4th stage of Paris-Nice and takes the yellow jersey

The first altitude finish of Paris-Nice kept its promises

Cycling: Tadej Pogacar wins the 4th stage of Paris-Nice and takes the yellow jersey

The first altitude finish of Paris-Nice kept its promises. The fourth stage of the Race to the Sun, Wednesday March 8, was the scene of an epic final at the top of the Loge des Gardes, a small ski resort in the Allier (6.7 km at 7.1% average ). Slovenian Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates) won in the sprint ahead of Frenchman David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), while Dane Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) cracked 1.7 km from the finish. He will only cross the line in 6th position.

Pogacar and Vingegaard, the two big favorites for the final coronation, broke away from the peloton four kilometers from the finish. Only Gaudu knew how to react. Starting against 3.5 km from the summit, when the two ogres got up after their first attack, he was even able to envisage victory by taking nearly 20 seconds in advance… before seeing Pogacar come back with a bang.

The Slovenian, who already won his sixth victory of the year, made an impression. On arrival, the double winner of the Tour de France (2020, 2021) also offered himself the yellow jersey and widened the gap with Jonas Vingegaard, who had deprived him of the pass of three on the Grande Boucle the last summer. The Jumbo rider is 3rd, 44 seconds behind his rival overall and 34 seconds behind David Gaudu, 2nd.

"We won't have 40,000 chances to beat them"

“On the first attack [de Vingegaard et Pogacar], everyone had the same reaction: we are going to let them do the show in front, said after the race the Frenchman, 4th in the last Tour de France. But when we came back, I anticipated and saw that I had no one in my wheel. We won't have 40,000 chances to beat them on a finish at the top. »

“In the sprint he was stronger than me. I'm still second, but it's second behind Pogacar! », Said the Breton climber, who had already finished in this place on the Ardèche Classic, behind Julian Alaphillipe at the end of February. David Gaudu can have big ambitions for this Paris-Nice, which ends with two mountainous stages this weekend.

“It was very nervous, very hard with side winds in the first part, explained for his part Tadej Pogacar at the microphone of Eurosport at the end of the stage. In the final ascent, I found myself in perfect position with good legs. I decided to go there at the end to look for Jonas Vingegaard. It was not my goal to take the yellow jersey today, but you can't refuse! »

Has the Slovenian knocked out the race yet? "It's true that the gap on Jonas is quite significant in the general classification, but on Gaudu not at all. Given the steps ahead of us, that's not enough. We will have to stay focused until the end, ”answers the person concerned.

On Thursday, the riders will start in Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise (Rhône) for 212.4 km to Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux (Drôme). A fifth day which should be punctuated by breakaways.