Dan Martin moves up to fifth in Paris-Nice with a solid climb

Martin’s QuickStep Floors teammate Julian Alaphilippe beat Alberto Contador to first

Ireland’s Daniel Martin rides during a 14,5 km individual time-trial, the fourth stage of the 75th edition of the Paris-Nice cycling race, between Beaujeu and Mont Brouilly. Photo: Philippe Lopez/Getty Images

Ireland’s Daniel Martin rides during a 14,5 km individual time-trial, the fourth stage of the 75th edition of the Paris-Nice cycling race, between Beaujeu and Mont Brouilly. Photo: Philippe Lopez/Getty Images

 

Dan Martin had a strong showing in Wednesday’s fourth stage of Paris-Nice, finishing a very solid 13th in the time trial to Mont-Brouilly. The Irishman is a climber who has lose time against the clock to others in the past, but he thrived on an undulating course with an uphill finish and conceded just one minute three seconds to the winner.

Quickest was Martin’s QuickStep Floors teammate Julian Alaphilippe, who beat former Tour de France winner Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) by 19 seconds.

The 14.5 kilometre clash sees Alaphilippe take over the yellow jersey of race leader, 33 seconds ahead of Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal). Martin moves from ninth to fifth overall, one minute 20 seconds back, and could well advance further in the mountains stages ahead.

A complication to that will be if he is required to ride in support of Alaphilippe, although his team may well decide that playing both cards at this point in time is to its benefit.

Meanwhile Tuesday’s stage winner Sam Bennett deliberately held back in the time trial, opting to save energy and rolling in over four minutes back. While this dropped him down from 23rd to 26th overall, being as fresh as possible for Thursday’s 199.5 kilometre stage to Bourg-de-Péage is paramount.

Because of the upcoming mountains, it is most likely the only other opportunity for a sprint finish before Sunday’s race conclusion. Bennett is determined to try to clock up a second stage win.

On Tuesday he became the first Irishman in 28 years to take a stage in the race, following up on previous career successes by Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche.

Bennett is due to make his debut in the Giro d’Italia this year, and will most likely miss the Tour de France. New teammate Peter Sagan, the current world champion, will lead the Bora hansgrohe squad there.

Paris-Nice (2.HC), Stage four, Beaujeu to Mont-Brouilly:

1, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) 14.5 kilometres in 21 mins 39 secs; 2, A. Contador (Trek-Segafredo) at 19 secs; 3, T. Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) at 20 secs; 4, G. Izagirre (Movistar Team); 5, I. Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin 33 secs; 6, D. De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors) at 45 secs

Irish: 13, D. Martin (Quick-Step Floors) at 1 min 3 secs;55, N. Roche (BMC Racing Team) at 1 min 53 secs; 105, P. Deignan (Team Sky) at 2 mins 53 secs; 155, S. Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 4 mins 18 secs

Teams: 1, Quick-Step Floors, at 1:6 mins 45 secs; 2, Team Sunweb, at 1 min 9 secs; 3, Movistar Team, at 1 min 11 secs

Other: 11, Bora-Hansgrohe, at 2 mins 43 secs; 12, BMC Racing Team, at 2 mins 46 secs; 15, Team Sky, at 3 mins 31 secs

General classification after stage 4: 1, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) 12 hours 36 mins 27 secs; 2, T. Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) at 33 secs; 3, G. Izagirre (Movistar Team) at 47 secs; 4, S. Henao (Team Sky) at 1 min 5 secs; 5, D. Martin (Quick-Step Floors) at 1 min 20 secs; 6, P. Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) at 1 min 24 secs

Other Irish: 26, S. Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 6 mins 19 secs; 46, N. Roche (BMC Racing Team) at 18 mins 14 secs; 125, P. Deignan (Team Sky) at 34 mins 52 secs

Points classification: 1, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) 29 pts; 2, A. Demare (FDJ) 29; 3, J. Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) 24; 4, A. Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) 23; 5, T. Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) 17; 6, S. Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) 15

Teams classification: 1, Quick-Step Floors 37 hours 51 mins 51 secs; 2, Katusha-Alpecin, at 3 mins 26 secs; 3, Lotto Soudal, at 3 mins 59 secs

Other: 5, Team Sky, at 7 mins 46 secs; 16, Bora-Hansgrohe, at 51 mins 17 secs; 18, BMC Racing Team, at 53 mins 35 secs

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