63rd Paris-Nice - ProTour
France, March 6-13, 2005
Main Page Results
& report Stage
Stage 3 - Wednesday, March 9: Thiers - Craponne-sur-Arzon, 118 km
Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Jean-Francois Quenet
Complete live report
Live coverage starts: 14:30 CET
Estimated finish time: 15:00 CET
Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of the increasingly truncated "race
through the snow", also known as the 63rd Paris-Nice. Today's shortened stage
starts in Thiers and finishes in Craponne-sur-Arzon (really), 118 km hence.
The original finish in Chambon-sur-Lignon had to be scrapped due to snow on
Despite this, it seems that today we will be seeing the first Cat. 1 climb of
the race in the form of the Cote de Lavet, the top of which is at the 77 km
mark. It's an 8.7 km climb at 4.7%, and will surely test the riders. The only
other climb of the day is the Cat. 2 Côte de Courpière (3.1 km at 6.4%), which
starts at km 11. The day's only intermediate sprint is at Ambert (km 47).
The riders will reach Craponne after 82 km of racing, and will do a 35 km finishing
circuit. It's a lot easier than the original planned stage, thus we may see
Tom Boonen still in the leader's jersey at the end of the day, provided he and
his Quick.Step team can keep a lid on things on the Cote de Lavet.
The peloton is currently racing along through the snow, led by Quick Step. Suddenly,
a Liberty trio dashes off the front with Luis Sanchez and Jorg Jaksche there.
There is a reaction immediately.
14:34 CET 112km/6km to go
Contador is the third Liberty rider, along with Sanchez and Jaksche. Vinokourov
jumps across, as do four others. A Francaise des Jeux rider - possibly Fabien
Sanchez - keeps the pressure on.
We're at 6 km to go. This will be the shortest live stage ever! Our apologies...
The peloton is in a long line as Luis Sanchez and Cadel Evans are next to attack.
Three more riders go with them as it starts to snow a bit. Celestino is there.
14:36 CET 113km/5km to go
A Euskaltel rider - Egoi Martinez - is now off the front on his own, being chased
by Sylvain Chavanel. The peloton has regrouped now.
14:36 CET 114km/4km to go
Martinez is still on his own as Chavanel looks back to see the chasers. Three
more have left the peloton in pursuit. It's a tough finish. Martinez has about
Chavanel is pedalling a big gear as he tries to close to Martinez. He's having
problems. There are more riders in pursuit, while the Quick Step train has started
to wind up.
Voigt is one of the chasers - he drives a group up to Chavanel and Martinez,
who are now together.
14:39 CET 115km/3km to go
Voigt does a big turn but can't get there. Boonen is about 25 riders back in
the peloton, which is 5 seconds behind Chavanel, Martinez, Flecha(?) and one
14:39 CET 115.5km/2.5km to go
The fourth rider is Arvesen. But the break is now caught as Erik Dekker counters!
Dekker is pursued by the peloton in general. Quick.Step jerseys are near the
front, trying to control things. Vino attacks on the wheel of a Fassa rider
- Cancellara, it seems. A quick.Step rider bridges up to them.
14:41 CET 117km/1km to go
It's Hulsmans who closes the gap at the 1 km mark. Cancellara and Vino have
to do all the work. Cancellara is giving Vino the elbow flick. They sit up.
14:42 CET 118km/0km to go
A Cofidis mini train forms with 500m to go, and it's a chaotic sprint. Boonen
is fifth wheel, on Verbvugghe's wheel. He can't get out and it's Reynes who
wins!! Guido Trenti (Quick.Step), then Fred Rodriguez third. That was a dangerous
No changes to GC, and Tom Boonen keeps the yellow and white jersey. Reynes
moves up to third behind Dekker, as a result of the 10 second time bonus.
Thanks for following stage 3 with us, and again, our apologies for picking
it up so late.
1 Vicente Reynes (Spa) Illes Balears 2.40.51
2 Guido Trenti (USA) Quick.Step
3 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Davitamon-Lotto
4 Aaron Kemps (Aus) Liberty Seguros-Würth
5 Jens Voigt (Ger) CSC
6 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone
7 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick.Step
8 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Francaise des Jeux
9 Nico Mattan (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto
10 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Fassa Bortolo
11 Gorka Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
12 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Team CSC
13 Dario Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi
General classification after stage 3
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 7.58.46
2 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 0.03
3 Vicente Reynes (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne 0.04
4 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC 0.05
5 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Team CSC 0.09
6 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC
7 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Fassa Bortolo 0.11
8 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française Des Jeux 0.16
9 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
10 Constantino Zaballa (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir
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