Stefan Bissegger fastest and takes race lead on Paris-Nice Time Trial
Young Swiss EF Education rider beat some of the biggest names in the Time Trial speciality with his first TT win and dramatically moved into the overall lead too
But 22-year-old Bissegger sets the fastest time at the intermediate check, narrowly holding onto his advantage by the finish.
Bissegger won the stage by a solitary second over Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), putting him into the race lead swiping the Yellow Jersey from Michael Matthews (BikeExchange).
Riders took on a short 14.4km individual time trial course around the town of Gien. The course was fairly flat and fast, with the final 100 metres a sharp climb to the finish line.
World time trial champion Rohan Dennis (Ineos Grenadiers), set the first fastest time of 17-48, with an average speed of 48.5km/h
BDennis was almost toppled by his team-mate Dylan Van Baarle, who also set the same time.
GC contender Jumbo-Visma’s Steven Kruijswijk finished in the top-five, howeber Tao Geoghegan Hart was around 30 seconds down on his rivals, while reigning champion Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) put in a fast ride to finish just two seconds slower than Kruijswijk.
Team DSM’s Søren Kragh Andersen knocked Australian Dennis off the hotset three-second quicker.
Hour Record-holder Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka-Assos) was outside of the top spots. Double Vuelta a España winner Roglic went four seconds faster than Andersen.
However Rémi Cavagna was obliterating the course and the Frenchman smashed Roglic’s time by six seconds.
While it looked like Cavagna hadit in the bag, until Bissegger crossed the line just one-second faster enough to secure his first ever pro TT win!
Matthews had slipped back to 17th on the stage, losing 23 seconds to Bissegger!
Bissegger now leads Paris-Nice, but sits on the same time as Cavagna in third.
Roglic now sits third overall, just six seconds behind the leader.
VIDEO: 2021 Paris Nice Stage 3 Highlights
2021 Paris Nice Stage 3 Top 10
1 Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo 0:17:34.120
2 Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:17:34.950
3 Primož Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 0:17:40.760
4 Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates 0:17:43.540
5 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team DSM 0:17:44.950
6 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:17:47.640
7 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis 0:17:47.920
8 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers 0:17:48.110
9 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:17:50.300
10 Patrick Bevin (NZl) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:17:50.670
2021 Paris Nice GC after Stage 3
1 Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo 8:37:11
2 Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
3 Primož Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:06
4 Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:09
5 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange
6 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team DSM 0:00:10
7 Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:12
8 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:13
9 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:14
10 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:15