Race report

Søren Kragh Andersen takes phenomenal TT win in Paris-Nice

Paris-Nice

Today’s action at Paris-Nice saw the peloton take on a 15.1 kilometre long route, starting and finishing in the town of Saint-Amand-Montrond. With a rolling parcours in the opening half of the route which featured several short climbs, followed by a faster and flatter second half; it was set to be a day that had a bit of something for everyone.

Solid early times were set by Chris Hamilton and Nils Eekhoff who both made the provisional top ten when crossing the line, but both would slide down the order as more riders finished their efforts.

It was the duo of Michael Matthews and Søren Kragh Andersen that lit up the timing sheets for the team as the final 50 riders started their time trials. Kragh Andersen paced his ride well, moving into a provisional second place at the intermediate split, only two seconds behind the leader at that point.

At the finish, Matthews stopped the clock in 19 minutes and nine seconds, a time that saw him take fifth place in the provisional standings. Yet, he wouldn’t be there for long as Kragh Andersen was the next rider on the road and he trumped his teammate’s time with an effort of 18 minutes and 51 seconds. A phenomenal effort that saw him beat previous leader Asgreen’s time by 12 seconds.

In the GC battle, Tiesj Benoot delivered a really strong effort out on the difficult course, gaining time on some of his GC rivals, finishing with a time of 19 minutes and 27 seconds.

Kragh Andersen’s time saw him have a nervous wait in the hot seat but it was good enough to take the stage win; his first professional TT victory upon his Cervélo P5. As a result, he moves into second place on GC with Benoot not too far behind in seventh place.

“To be honest it’s a big relief, I finally got my TT victory so I’m really happy,” beamed Kragh Andersen at the finish. “I almost can’t believe it but I was really aiming for it today. I did my best and my legs felt good, so I’m really happy with the outcome. I don’t like really straight TTs; I also want some hills, technical parts and tempo shifts so it was a super good parcours for me.”

Team Sunweb coach Matt Winston added: “We’re really happy with the overall, all-round performance from the whole team. To get three guys in the top 15 today is a really good result. It was a special performance from Søren. He paced himself well on the climb, thought about his race and really went full gas on the run in to the finish. He was absolutely flying to take the victory. It’s a really nice result today, the whole team are happy with Søren’s win but we’re happy with the overall general way of working and performance from the team too.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team Sunweb 18:51 60
2 SCHACHMANN Maximilian BORA - hansgrohe 0:06 25
3 ASGREEN Kasper Deceuninck - Quick Step 0:12 10
7 MATTHEWS Michael Team Sunweb 0:18 -
15 BENOOT Tiesj Team Sunweb 0:36 -
25 EEKHOFF Nils Team Sunweb 0:48 -
54 ARNDT Nikias Team Sunweb 1:17 -
59 HAMILTON Chris Team Sunweb 1:21 -
82 DENZ Nico Team Sunweb 1:50 -
124 BOL Cees Team Sunweb 2:49 -