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61st Paris-Nice - 2.HC

France, March 9-16, 2003

Main page    Course map     Start list    Results

Stage 4 - March 13: Source Perrier (Vergèze) ITT, 16.5 km

Complete Live Report

Start time (first rider): 14:00 CET
Estimated finish time (last rider): 16:45 CET

Welcome to the live coverage of stage 4 of Paris-Nice, a pan flat 16.5 kilometre individual time trial around Source Perrier. Today's stage will probably cause a few changes in the classification, with the top 10 riders still separated by less than a minute. The race leader is Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), who holds a three second lead on Alexandre Vinokourov (Telekom) and 13 seconds on Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo). These three riders are the favourites for the final podium, but today could produce some surprises.

There is still a very sombre mood in the peloton after the tragic death of Andrei Kivilev who crashed during Tuesday's second stage. Tributes and comments continue to pour in from riders and people associated with the sport, and you can read them via our news archive.

The issue of mandatory helmets has been opened once again, and that will presumably dominate the news in the coming days and weeks. Unfortunately, none of it will help Kivilev, his widow, and their six month old son.

15:05 CET
Three of Kivilev's Cofidis teammates, Philippe Gaumont, Cedric Vasseur and David Moncoutie are on the road at the moment, trying to do their best in this important stage. The weather conditions are good - sunny with a bit of wind, and the course is quite non-technical.

The fastest time so far is Thorsten Schmidt (Gerolsteiner), who has ridden 19'52 for the 16.5 km. That's not bad at all.

15:16 CET
ONCE's Mikel Pradera comes through a couple of seconds quicker than Schmidt, with a time just under 19'50. He is now the new provisional leader in this time trial.

Marek Rutkiewicz (Cofidis), who was involved in the Kivilev crash, has posted a good time of 20'37, for 11th place so far. David Moncoutie is nearing the end of his ride. He does 20'41, which is good enough for 17th at the moment.

15:22 CET
Two favourites for today's stage, Fabian Cancellara (Fassa Bortolo) and Tyler Hamilton (CSC) are now both under way. Can Hamilton repeat his good form that saw him finish 2nd in the prologue?

Hamilton is really into his rhythm now, battling the wind on the first leg.

15:31 CET
Benoit Joachim (USPS) finishes in 20'25, which gives him 8th place on the provisional standings.

Hamilton has the best time at the 8 kilometre mark.

15:36 CET
Credit Agricole's Jens Voigt comes across the line in a time of 19'52, close but not close enough to Mikel Pradera, who still holds the top time.

Mario Cipollini has won the first stage in Tirreno-Adriatico, in front of Dario Pieri and Luca Paolini. The World Champ is back in form.

15:42 CET
Tyler Hamilton (CSC) has done an incredible time: 19'20, which knocks nearly 30 seconds of Pradera! He is the new provisional leader in this TT.

Sandy Casar (FDJeux.com) is nearing the end of his ride, catching and passing Lotto's Christophe Brandt in the final 2 km. He finishes in 20'12, which puts him in 13th.

15:55 CET
Quick.Step's Frank Vandenbroucke is now on his way. He is having a good Paris-Nice so far, and is lying in 30th overall. Benoit Salmon, Oscar Camenzind (Phonak) and Pedro Cardoso (Milaneza) are also on their way.

Nico Mattan (Cofidis), the winner of the prologue, is not in good form today, finishing in 20'32, well off the pace of Hamilton. Close behind him is the green jersey wearer Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) in 20'11, which gives him 13th place provisionally.

16:03 CET
Kurt Van De Wouwer (Quick.Step) has just left the starting gate. He is chasing Marcos Serrano (ONCE). Van De Wouwer's teammate Richard Virenque finishes his ride in 21.09, which will give him 60th spot on the provisional standings.

It's still Tyler Hamilton on top by a good 30 seconds, having averaged over 51 km/h for his ride. Can anyone beat him today? Perhaps Dario Frigo, one of the last riders to start.

Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) leaves the start house.

Leif Nielsen from Denmark has asked whether time trials are unfair for riders starting first, because the later riders will know their time splits via their team directors. This is true to some extent, but is also one of the 'fringe benefits' of being better placed on GC.

16:09 CET
Vandenbroucke has come through the first time check just 4 seconds slower than Hamilton. Good riding by VDB. Some way behind him, Sylvain Chavanel (La Boulangere) is through in 6th place at the first time check, 14" behind Hamilton.

Vandenbroucke has caught Camenzind in the last kilometre. Not bad!

16:14 CET
Very impressive ride from Vandenbroucke! Just 0.14 seconds slower than Hamilton for second place overall. His compatriot, Axel Merckx (Lotto-Domo) has just started. He is the 10th last rider to go.

He is followed by David Latasa (Kelme) and Best Young Rider Joaquim Rodriguez (ONCE) in his blue and white jersey.

16:18 CET
Emmanuel Magnien (La Boulangere) is home in 20'15, which gives him 19th spot. Out on the road, Axel Merckx is riding smoothly.

Jorg Jaksche (ONCE) and Volodomir Gustov (Fassa Bortolo) have left.

Sylvain Chavanel (La Boulangere) has a great ride to finish in 19'29, just 8 seconds slower than Hamilton, who still holds the fastest time.

16:23 CET
Dario Frigo has left, as has Alex Vinokourov. They are followed by the last rider, Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), in his Paris-Nice yellow leader's jersey.

In response to Lief Nielsen's question about time trial starts, other readers have pointed out that weather conditions can change throughout the day, with the winds getting up later. Also in some races, the early starters start at 1 minute intervals, while the later riders are at 2 minutes. That is not the case in this time trial though, as all riders are separated by 1 minute.

16:28 CET
Phonak's Oscar Pereiro comes through in 19'55, for 13th place, but he is closely followed by Didier Rous, whose 19'37 will give him 4th overall. Then Claus Moller (Milaneza) goes one better, with a 19'27 for third overall.

Jorg Jaksche (ONCE) is just about to catch his teammate Joaquim Rodriguez. He does so and powers past the small Spaniard.

Dario Frigo has lost 11 seconds at the first time check, and is in 6th. However, Alexandre Vinokourov (Telekom) has lost 21 seconds at the same point, putting him in 21st overall. And Rebellin has lost 27 seconds already (42nd overall). Could Frigo end up in yellow tonight?

16:35 CET
Axel Merckx (Lotto-Domo) is home in 20'45, for 67th place. He may lose a spot on GC.

But here comes Jorg Jaksche! An excellent ride by the German to knock 5 seconds off Hamilton's time. Is that going to be good enough to win?

We're now waiting on Botcharov, Zarrabeitia, Frigo, Vinokourov and Rebellin.

16:41 CET
Zarrabeitia misses Jaksche's time by 10 seconds, but Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) does not. The Italian TT champ finishes in 19'07, easily beating Jaksche. He will take yellow today.

Vinokourov finishes in 19'31, for 8th place. A good ride over the second half of the course for the Telekom rider.

16:43 CET
Davide Rebellin loses 58 seconds to Frigo, and thus the yellow jersey. A great ride by Frigo sees him take over the lead in Paris-Nice, with three stages to go. Can he defend it and repeat his win of 2001?

Also noteworthy were the times of Jaksche, Zarrabeitia, Moller, Hamilton and Vandenbroucke.

Thanks for following the fourth stage of Paris-Nice with us. We'll be back at 15:00 CET tomorrow with live coverage of the Mont Faron stage.

Provisional results

1 Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo)          19.07
2 Jorg Jaksche (ONCE)                   0.08
3 Tyler Hamilton (CSC)                  0.13
4 Frank Vandenbroucke (Quick.Step)
5 Mikel Zarrabeitia (ONCE)              0.18
6 Claus Moller (Milaneza)               0.19
7 Sylvain Chavanel (La Boulangere)      0.21
8 Alex Vinokourov (Telekom)             0.24
9 Jorgen Bo Petersen (fakta)            0.28
10 Didier Rous (La Boulanegere)         0.31

General classification after stage 4

1 Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo)       10.39.45
2 Alex Vinokourov (Telekom)             0.14
3 Mikel Zarrabeitia (ONCE)              0.27
4 Jorg Jaksche (ONCE)                   0.32
5 David Rebellin (Gerolsteiner)         0.46
6 Volodomir Gustov (Fassa Bortolo)      0.51
7 Claus Moller (Milaneza)               1.13
8 Didier Rous (La Boulangere)           1.27
9 Sylvain Chavanel (La Boulangere)      1.31
10 David Bernabeu (Milaneza)            1.41 

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