Jonathan Hivert victorious at the third stage of Paris-Nice
Mar 06 2018 11:57 pm CET

Jonathan Hivert victorious at the third stage of Paris-Nice
Jonathan Hivert victorious at the third stage of Paris-Nice
Direct Energie © Mary Cárdenas /

Direct-Energie's Jonathan Hivert has won the third stage of Paris-Nice. The Frenchman was part of an escape of three men and showed to have the better legs at the end of the day.

Jay Thomson (Dimension Data), Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie) and Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz (Delko Marseille Provence) formed an escape group at the start of the 210-kilometre stage, the longest one of the 2018 edition of the race.

The trio created a gap of more than seven minutes with the peloton and Grellier was left alone in front at the second climb up the Cote des Boulards. His two former companions chased him in the next kilometres but were unable to bridge the gap and were instead swallowed up by the pack close to the 40-kilometre mark.

Meanwhile, UAE Team Emirates' Alexander Kristoff struggled to keep up with the peloton and had to work hard to keep contact.

With 35 kilometres to go, the peloton caught Grellier and ten kilometres later, during the ascent of the Cote de Charbonnierers, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) attacked and was soon joined by Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana). Soon Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) and around 17 more riders jumped to the front group.

The next kilometres featured several attacks and the most successful was of Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Jonathan Hivert (Direct Energie) and Remy Di Gregorio (Delko Marseille Provence), who got an advantage of almost a minute over the bunch.

Just past the 2-kilometre mark, Di Gregorio attacked but was soon caught by his fellow escapees. The rider of Delko tried again but was once more reeled back in and in the last meters, Hivert delivered a strong acceleration, leaving the others behind to take the stage victory.

Astana's Sanchez takes the lead in the General Classification at the expense of Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ).



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