Stage 3 of the 68th “Race to the Sun” Paris-Nice was due to start at St Junien yesterday. I’d been looking forward to it. Planning on going down to see it on my bike. Hoping that I might catch my bar end in someone’s lycra and get whipped along in the excitement of it all.
But it wasn’t to be. Overnight snow, overnight snow I tell ya!!! meant that the start was delayed, and moved 55 kms down the road to St Yrieix-la-Perche.
I was a little disappointed, but it was bitterly cold, and It was good that the organisers had the sense to give the lads a break. Later in the day the weather improved, and the sun came out!
Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, the youngest rider in Paris-Nice, won a shortened third stage over 153 kms in Aurillac, while the peloton’s elder, Jens Voigt, seized the yellow jersey.The race unfolded in the last climb, the Cote de La Martinie, three kilometres from the finish, when six riders revealed their ambitions in this 68th Race to the Sun. Ireland’s Nicolas Roche was the first in action, followed by Sagan, Voigt, Tony Martin, Joaquin Rodriguez, but also Alberto Contador.The 2009 Tour champion acceleration in the last climb showed that his crash in the first stage was but a memory and the Spaniard could even have done better if his pedals had not snapped in the final sprint.Yet the day belonged to the young and the old, the 20-year-old Sagan trailing the 38-year-old Voigt by a slim six seconds ahead of a potentially decisive 4th stage to Mende on Thursday…..from the official website letour.fr