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61st Paris-Nice - 2.HC
France, March 9-16, 2003
Stage 4 - March 13: Source Perrier (Vergèze) ITT, 16.5 km
Complete Live Report
Start time (first rider): 14:00 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.
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.
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.
Hamilton is really into his rhythm now, battling the wind on the first leg.
Hamilton has the best time at the 8 kilometre mark.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vandenbroucke has caught Camenzind in the last kilometre. Not bad!
He is followed by David Latasa (Kelme) and Best Young Rider Joaquim Rodriguez (ONCE) in his blue and white jersey.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Vinokourov finishes in 19'31, for 8th place. A good ride over the second half of the course for the Telekom rider.
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.
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