Jumbo-Visma took victory in an absorbing and original team time trial on Stage 3 at Paris-Nice, propelling GC hopeful Jonas Vingegaard up the standings, while Magnus Cort (EF Education–EasyPost) snatched the overall lead.
‘Race for the Sun’ organisers courted controversy in the build-up after overhauling the TTT, with teams awarded times based on the first rider – not the fourth – to cross the line. Meanwhile, individual times were counted in the general classification, creating a big shake-up in a race that is renowned for small time gaps.
With two world time trial champions – Tobias Foss and Rohan Dennis – in their ranks, Jumbo-Visma delivered a textbook effort to edge out EF Education Easy-Post (+1″) and Jayco AlUla (+4″), who earlier lit up the timesheets to grab provisional top spot and push Simon Yates into overall contention.
Tour de France champion Vingegaard led home Jumbo-Visma to move within three seconds of the overall lead in fifth, with team-mate Nathan van Hooydonck missing out on the leader’s jersey by a second.
The race had been billed as a head-to-head between Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) after their Tour showdown in 2022, with the Slovenian grabbing 12 bonus seconds across the first two stages, perhaps aware that his UAE train was unlikely to match Jumbo.
And so it proved, with Pogacar’s team suffering an awkward start after Felix Grossschartner became unattached within 90 seconds, forcing an unscheduled deceleration while the Austrian latched back on. The time deficit could have been more significant, had Pogacar not exploded away from his last remaining team-mate on the final hill to bring UAE home 23 seconds adrift. He is 10th on GC, 14 seconds from Cort and 11 off Vingegaard.
It was a day to forget for Ineos Grenadiers, who finished 11th as Dani Martinez came home 48 seconds down on the Jumbo frontrunners. Not since Richie Porte won in 2013 has the winning margin of Paris-Nice been over 48 seconds, suggesting the Colombian’s GC hopes are already hanging by a thread.
Soudal-QuickStep also struggled as Kasper Asgreen and Tim Declercq drifted off the back, creating the bizarre spectacle of two separate units riding on the road – four at the front, unsure whether to slow, and two behind, desperate to catch up. They eventually recovered to finish seventh, 39 seconds down on the winners.
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