March 09, 2006
Boonen, Boonen, Boonen while Landis maintains Paris-Nice lead
Tom Boonen continued his early domination at Paris-Nice, taking his 3rd stage win (out of 4 stages and a prologue).
Boonen survived a late chain skip with about 150 meters to ride to outsprint Allan Davis, who has been second in each of Boonen's Paris-Nice stage wins. Danilo Napolitano was 3rd at the line, but was DQ'ed for squirelly sprinting , elevating Stefan Schumacher into 3rd on the stage.
"For sure, things are going fine for us, we're very strong. The problem is that in Milan-San Remo, which is our main goal, we won't be alone in controlling the race as is the case here.
"We'll be the favourite team and everybody will be out to get us. I would say Alessandro Petacchi retains a 60 percent chance to win Milan-San Remo while my chances are 40 percent."
I guess that leaves Paolo Bettini out in the cold.
Phonak's Floyd Landis continues as the race leader, and 7-time Paris-Nice winner Sean Kelly told VeloNews he thinks Landis should take the overall:
"I think he has a good chance of holding on," seven-time Paris-Nice winner Sean Kelly told VeloNews. "The way he's riding, I don't believe anyone can stay with him on the climbs. He shouldn't have any difficulty looking out for himself."
Kelly said the Phonak team will be up for the challenge of supporting Landis, especially with teammate Axel Merckx riding well Wednesday to move into 13th overall at 1:47 back.
"Because there aren't any mountaintop finishes, I think it will be actually easier to control," Kelly said. "What they have to watch out for are riders slipping away early in the stages."
Eurosport.com | History repeats for Boonen, Davis
cyclingnews.com | Paris-Nice Stage 4: World champ makes it three
ThePaceline.com (free reg. required) | Paris-Nice Stage 4 Report
procycling.com | Tenth win already for Boonen
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