Gien (France) (AFP)
Stefan Bissegger, a young 22-year-old Swiss, deprived the French time trial champion Rémi Cavagna of victory and the leader's jersey in the 3rd stage of Paris-Nice, Tuesday in Gien (Loiret).
In the 14.4 kilometer time trial, the only one of the event, the two riders were the only ones to do better than the Slovenian Primoz Roglic, third on the stage and above all first among the favorites for the victory. final.
Roglic, who was showing off his new time trial bike (his team changed equipment in the offseason), leaned 6 seconds at the top of the finish ramp.
Bissegger and Cavagna finished in the same second, separated by exactly 83 hundredths of a second.
"It is furious," admitted the Frenchman who, at 25, continues to revolve around his first victory in a WorldTour time trial.
As proof of his consistency at the highest level, he won the silver medal last year in the discipline at the European Championships.
"This second, I see it everywhere," added the Auvergnat of the Deceuninck team.
"I had to brake at the end when I caught up with a rider in a corner (at a right angle). Afterwards, I gave everything up to the line, I gave everything to not have regrets ".
But Cavagna saw his time improved by Bissegger who already has references despite his poor experience (second year in WorldTour).
Silver medalist in the 2019 World Upside Road Race, he finished second in the time trial of the recent UAE Tour, only ahead of the world champion, the Italian Filippo Ganna.
- From the Loire to Beaujolais -
"I'm quite proud of myself," responded the Swiss from the EF Education team.
"I knew it would be tight, I had been warned in the headset that I had to keep some punch for the climb to the finish line".
In front of the castle-museum which overlooks the Loire, the royal river with its lazy flow, Roglic was also able to be satisfied with the efficiency of his Dutch teammate Steven Kruijswijk (11th), who could be useful to him before the end of the week.
Apart from the duettists of the last Giro who conceded a significant delay (38 seconds for the Briton Tao Geoghegan Hart, 56 seconds for the Australian Jai Hindley), the other contenders in the general classification limited the loss of time.
The Russian Aleksandr Vlasov and the German Maximilian Schachmann, outgoing winner, gave up just 16 seconds.
As for the young American Brandon McNulty (22), he finished 4th in the stage 3 seconds behind the Slovenian.
But, for Roglic, the indicators seem green before the 4th stage, which Bissegger will tackle on Wednesday without a chronometric advantage over Cavagna, in the same second as him in the general classification.
The rugged 187.5 kilometer route will lead Wednesday from Châlon-sur-Saône (Saône-et-Loire) to Chiroubles (Rhône).
With two ascent of Mont Brouilly, the second approaching the last 20 kilometers, and a final ascent of 7.3 kilometers (at 6%) in the Monts du Beaujolais.
© 2021 AFP