Iglinskiy 2nd, Gasparotto 4th, Fuglsang abandons with gastrointestinal trouble
Astana Pro Team rider Maxim Iglinskiy attacked an elite selection of riders in the final kilometers of Thursday's fourth stage at Paris-Nice, finishing on the podium in second place with teammate Enrico Gasparotto just behind in fourth, giving a positive finish to a day where Jakob Fuglsang abandoned due to illness.
Iglinskiy, from Kazakhstan, said the final chess match of Thursday's 200km stage ended on a slight downhill with a group of around 30 riders.
"We had three in the final, me, Grivko and Gaspa. On the downhill we moved to the front to control any attempts to breakaway, and Grivko covered the first attack and brought it back. I went to sprint at 350m to go, because there was a gap and Grivko shouted at me to take it. In the end I was a little bit early and Albasini passed me for the win after sitting on my wheel. My legs felt good all day, and from the start we knew it was going to be a stage for us," Iglinskiy said
Michael Albasini of Switzerland won the stage, and Andrei Grivko maintained his second place on overall classification by coming in with the winning group. Astana Pro Team also leads the overall team classification.
What positive effect Iglinskiy's podium had for team morale was tempered by the withdrawal from Paris-Nice by Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang, who went to bed Wednesday with a fever and woke up Thursday unable to eat.
"I had no appetite and a pain in my stomach today, and when I went to eat and drink I couldn't. I could have finished today, but I would have been unable to help the team, and probably out of the time limit. Tomorrow I will go home and I should be able to train again in a few days. My next race is Catalunya and I should be ready to go by then. In the end it is probably better not to go too deep and kill myself here in Paris-Nice," Fuglsang said.