Kragh Andersen wins Paris-Nice time trial as Schachmann extends lead

Soren Kragh Andersen competes in the time trial on stage four of Paris-Nice

Soren Kragh Andersen finished third in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February

Denmark’s Soren Kragh Andersen took victory in the time trial on stage four of Paris-Nice as Germany’s Max Schachmann extended his overall lead.

Kragh Andersen covered the 15.1km course in 18 minutes 51 seconds, holding off Schachmann by six seconds.

Fellow Dane Kasper Asgreen finished third in Saint-Amand-Montrond, six seconds further back.

Bora-Hansgrohe rider Schachmann now leads Sunweb’s Kragh Andersen by 58 seconds in the general classification.

Schachmann had led Giacomo Nizzolo by 13 seconds after stage three but the Italian fell down the standings after finishing over a minute down on the German.

Schachmann’s team-mate Felix Grossschartner of Austria has moved up to third overall, three seconds down on Kragh Andersen.

The race is being held ‘behind closed doors’ to comply with the French ministry of health’s ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Public access is restricted at the start and end of each stage, and there is a buffer zone of 100m to the podium at the start of a stage and 300m at the end.

Seven teams pulled out of the race because of concerns over coronavirus, while Team Ineos’ withdrawal was also in part because of the death of sporting director Nicolas Portal.

Stage five on Thursday is an undulating 227km route from Gannat to La Cote-Saint-Andre that could still end in a sprint finish before three more mountainous stages.

The race concludes on Sunday.

Stage four result

1. Soren Kragh Andersen (Den/Sunweb) 18mins 51secs

2. Max Schachmann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) +6secs

3. Kasper Asgreen (Den/Deceuninck Quick-Step) +12secs

4. Thomas de Gendt (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) +13secs

5. Pello Bilbao (Spa/Bahrain-McLaren) +15secs

Overall standings

1. Max Schachmann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) 13hrs 30mins 58secs

2. Soren Kragh Andersen (Den/Sunweb) +58secs

3. Felix Grossschartner (Aut/Bora-Hansgrohe) +1min 1sec

4. Nils Politt (Ger/Israel Start-Up Nation) +1min 5secs

5. Sergio Higuita (Col/EF Pro Cycling) +1min 6secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/51841544

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