Rémi Cavagna was on the offensive during the first hilly stage of the race.
Beaujolais, the historical province of France inhabited by the Romans thousands of years ago and renowned for its wine production, welcomed the bunch Wednesday afternoon with a tasty menu consisting of seven classified climbs. Among them, Mont Brouilly, where a young Julian Alaphilippe time trialled to victory four years ago, a resounding win that brought him the yellow jersey at the end of the day.
This time, another Deceuninck – Quick-Step Frenchman was in the spotlight towards the end of the stage. Runner-up in the Gien individual time trial, Rémi Cavagna attacked on the last descent and quickly opened up a gap, which he stretched out to 50 seconds by the time he reached the foot of Chiroubles (7.3km, 6%), proving once again there’s a reason why he is called the “TGV of Clermont-Ferrand”. But luck wasn’t on his side as a mechanical spelled the end of Rémi’s ambitions and with six kilometers to go he got caught by the peloton, from where Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) took a solo win at the top of the ascent.
Mattia Cattaneo concluded the day as the team’s highest-placed rider, while stage 1 victor Sam Bennet remained within reach of the green jersey, which he has a chance of donning again at the end of the flat stage 5 to Bollène, a small town in Vaucluse making its first appearance in 50 years at Paris-Nice.
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