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Paris-Nice Stage 3: Matt Goss avoids crash in finale to take stage and race lead

Aussie sprinter pips Team Sky's Geraint Thomas at the death...

Matt Goss of HTC-Highroad will be celebrating with his team mates with a bottle of the local wine tonight after narrowly avoiding a crash to cross the line first in a dramatic finale to Stage 3 of Paris-Nice in the Burgundy wine-growing town of Nuit-Saint-Georges, moving into the race lead by two seconds from Vancansoleil-DCM’s Thomas de Gendt.

Geraint Thomas of Team Sky, who had yesterday led out team mate Greg Henderson to perfection, for the third day in a row again powered to the front of the race in an attempt to deliver the New Zealander to the line.

However, with the Kiwi unable to grab his wheel in a twisting approach, Thomas went for the win himself, but was overhauled with the line metres away, coming home fifth. Arsenal getting past Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the Champions League tonight will presumably provide some consolation to the Gunners-supporting Welshman, who so far during the race has proved himself to be in terrific form.

There was drama unfolding behind as Thomas made his bid for the line, with Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Doimo apparently suffering a rolled tubular with the finish in sight. Goss managed to weave round the Slovenian rider, but others weren’t so lucky as they crashed into his bike, sending several into the barriers.

Today’s 202km stage had got under way amid gorgeous weather in Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire, and almost immediately an escape group of five riders formed, comprising Cedric Pineau of FDJ, Jussi Veikkanen from Omega Pharma-Lotto, Europcar’s Cyril Gautier, Romain Hardy of Bretagne Schuller and AG2R’s Biel Kadri. Thomas Voeckler of Europcar, in the French national champion’s colours, attacked on the descent of the day’s final climb and quickly overhauled all the remaining escapees other than Kadri.

Vacansoleil-DCM, buoyed by yesterday’s confirmation that they will after all be competing in May’s Giro d’Italia after earlier reports that they might be excluded from the race, had worked tirelessly at the front of the peloton to help reel in the escapees as they sought - in vain, as it turned out – to defend de Gendt’s lead, and Voeckler and Kadri were caught with just six kilometres to go, ahead of the dramatic conclusion to the day’s racing.

Tomorrow’s Stage 4 covers 191km from Crêches-sur-Saône to Belleville.

Paris-Nice Stage 3 Result

1   GOSS Matt           HTC - HIGHROAD               5h 16' 48"
2   HAUSSLER Heinrich   TEAM GARMIN - CERVELO    (all at same time)
3   GALIMZYANOV Denis   KATUSHA TEAM
4   ROJAS Jose Joaquin  MOVISTAR TEAM
5   THOMAS Geraint      SKY PROCYCLING
6   HENDERSON Greg      SKY PROCYCLING
7   RAVARD Anthony      AG2R LA MONDIALE
8   GAVAZZI Francesco   LAMPRE - ISD
9   FEILLU Romain       VACANSOLEIL-DCM
10  AGNOLI Valerio      LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE
11  VAITKUS Tomas       PRO TEAM ASTANA
12  WYSS Danilo         BMC RACING TEAM
13  BOLE Grega          LAMPRE - ISD
14  BAK Lars            HTC - HIGHROAD
15  EL FARES Julien     COFIDIS LE CREDIT EN LIGNE
16  GUSEV Vladimir      KATUSHA TEAM
17  PAURIOL Rémi        FDJ
18  ULISSI Diego        LAMPRE - ISD
19  JEANNESSON Arnold   FDJ
20  TROFIMOV Yury       KATUSHA TEAM

50  LLOYD Daniel        TEAM GARMIN - CERVELO
75  WIGGINS Bradley     SKY PROCYCLING
167 HUNT Jeremy         SKY PROCYCLING                + 06' 28"

Paris-Nice Overall Standings after Stage 3 
1   GOSS Matt           HTC - HIGHROAD              14h 22' 34"
2   DE GENDT Thomas     VACANSOLEIL-DCM               + 00' 02"
3   HAUSSLER Heinrich   TEAM GARMIN - CERVELO         + 00' 06"
4   HENDERSON Greg      SKY PROCYCLING                + 00' 06"
5   GALIMZYANOV Denis   KATUSHA TEAM                  + 00' 08"
6   ROY Jérémy          FDJ                           + 00' 09"
7   GALLOPIN Tony       COFIDIS LE CREDIT EN LIGNE    + 00' 10"
8   GAUTIER Cyril       TEAM EUROPCAR                 + 00' 11"
9   PINEAU Cedric       FDJ                           + 00' 11"
10  VOIGT Jens          TEAM LEOPARD-TREK             + 00' 14"
11  FEILLU Romain       VACANSOLEIL-DCM               + 00' 15"
12  HARDY Romain        BRETAGNE - SCHULLER           + 00' 15"
13  KADRI Blel          AG2R LA MONDIALE              + 00' 15"
14  WYSS Danilo         BMC RACING TEAM               + 00' 16"
15  AGNOLI Valerio      LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE           + 00' 16"
16  DELPECH Jean Luc    BRETAGNE - SCHULLER           + 00' 16"
17  VAITKUS Tomas       PRO TEAM ASTANA               + 00' 16"
18  GAVAZZI Francesco   LAMPRE - ISD                  + 00' 16"
19  PINEAU Jérôme       QUICK STEP CYCLING TEAM       + 00' 16"
20  THOMAS Geraint      SKY PROCYCLING                + 00' 16"

60  LLOYD Daniel        TEAM GARMIN - CERVELO         + 00' 16"
77  WIGGINS Bradley	SKY PROCYCLING	              + 00' 16"
154 HUNT Jeremy	        SKY PROCYCLING	              + 06' 44"

 

 

 

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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