Roglic wins in Beaujolais to take Paris-Nice lead
Chiroubles (France) (AFP)
Primoz Roglic of Jumbo-Visma powered ahead of the peloton to win stage four of Paris Nice and take the overall lead of the eight day race as he skipped clear through the Beaujolais vineyards.
Roglic leads the 'run to the Sun' by 35 seconds from last season's champion Maximilian Schachmann, while French rider Guillaume Martin is third at 37sec.
The new leader immediately payed homage to his team's performance in another stage race in Italy on the same day, also won by Jumbo with Mathieu van der Poel.
"We're super happy with the two wins," Roglic said of his Jumbo team which has ascended over the past year to become a dominant force in the peloton.
"Obviously I'm more happy about my result, I proved to myself I was in good shape," said Roglic, who is racing in France for the first time since his Tour de France meltdown on the penultimate day last September.
"It's beautiful and I'm super happy for the team," said the 31-year-old winner.
The Slovenian produced his trademark devastating surge to grab a 3 seconds time bonus halfway up the final hill. Then, with his rivals struggling after an unrelentingly testing 188km run from Chalon-Sur-Soane to Chiroubles, Roglic kept going to finish 12 seconds ahead of his closest pursuer.
"It was a hard day but I had good legs. Now the aim of course is to still have the lead when we get to Nice," said a relaxed looking Roglic.
Ineos's fading hope of an overall win on this race faded when Tao Geoghegan Hart fell with 20km to go and had to struggle to get back to the peloton.
© 2021 AFP