Paris-Nice
Stage 4: Nevers - Belleville - Stage Details

Michael Matthews proved quickest of the reduced bunch, leading home a chase group of 26 riders on the fourth stage of Paris Nice. With three riders up the road, Matthews’ sprint was good for fourth place. Tom Jelte Slagter (Garmin-Sharp) bested late race breakaway companion Geraint Thomas (Sky) to win the nail-biter of a finale. Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) placed third at 5” after attacking the chase group and narrowly holding his chasers off to the line.

Four categorised climbs in the final 70 kilometres set the scene for a hotly contested battle on stage four. The early breakaway formed inside the opening 20 kilometres with four riders slipping up the road. The quartet gained a maximum advantage of six minutes before Giant-Shimano set a pace that would steadily reduce the gap.

The break benefited from a lack of cohesion in the chase group, which started with only four riders but swelled to include 27 ahead of the finish. Matthews was the lone ORICA-GreenEDGE representative in the group after losing Jens Keukeleire and Simon Yates over the upper slopes of Col du Mont Brouilly. Without teammates, Matthews opted to save his energy for the finish rather than taking charge of the chase.

"The group split and Bling was on his own in a group of about 20 riders. A lot of the other scrappy sprinter types were alone, too. The group had a hard time working together, and because of this, Slagter and Thomas stayed away. If the group had more cooperation, it would have been a sprint – and we’re confident Bling could have won it." - Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage

Results

Place Rider/Team Time
1 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) - Garmin Sharp 5:00:09
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) - Team Sky ST
3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) - Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 0:00:05
4 Michael Matthews (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
5 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) - Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team ST
6 Arthur Vichot (Fra) - FDJ.fr ST
7 Peter Velits (Svk) - BMC Racing Team ST
8 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) - Movistar Team ST
9 Cyril Gautier (Fra) - Team Europcar ST
10 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) - AG2R La Mondiale ST
Place Mitchelton-SCOTT Riders Time
4 Michael Matthews (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
32 Simon Yates (GBr) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:00:18
44 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
97 Mathew Hayman (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:03:43
117 Simon Gerrans (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:07:06
127 Mitchell Docker (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
128 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
153 Michael Albasini (Swi) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:09:55