Thursday, 10 March 2016

Matthews Maintains Paris-Nice Lead

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Geraint Thomas remains fifth in the Paris-Nice race despite crashing on stage four, won by Nacer Bouhanni.

Team Sky's Thomas rider went down around 35km from the finish after a touch of wheels on the category two ascent of Cote de Saint-Uze.

However, the Welshman was quickly back riding and finished 11th to remain 19 seconds behind overall leader Michael Matthews, who was fifth on the stage.

The riders tackle Mont Ventoux in Provence in Friday's 195km stage.

The legendary mountain pass comes early in the stage to Salon-de-Provence as the race, which concludes on Sunday, continues towards the south coast of France.

Cofidis rider Bouhanni, who was demoted from first to third on stage two after changing his line in the bunch sprint, rode cleanly to victory in Romans-sur-Isere on Thursday.

Trek rider Edward Theuns was second and Lotto Soudal's Andre Greipel third, with Britain's Ben Swift sixth for Team Sky.

Stage four result:
1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra/Cofidis) 4hrs 42mins 29secs
2. Edward Theuns (Bel/Trek) Same time
3. Andre Greipel (Ger/Lotto)
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor/Katusha)
5. Michael Matthews (Aus/Orica)
6. Ben Swift (GB/Team Sky)
7. Nikolas Maes (Bel/Etixx - Quick-Step)
8. Tony Gallopin (Fra/Lotto)
9. Youcef Reguigui (Alg/Dimension Data)
10. Roy Curvers (Ned/Giant)

Overall classification after stage four:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus/Orica) 14hrs 24mins 15secs
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Giant) +14secs
3. Patrick Bevin (NZ/Cannondale) +19secs
4. Jon Izagirre (Spa/Movistar)
5. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky)

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