Wout Poels wins Paris-Nice's fourth stage, moving into second on GC behind Luis León Sánchez

Sky’s Wout Poels won Wednesday’s fourth stage of Paris-Nice, an 18.4-kilometer time trial.

The Dutchman made the trip from La Fouillouse to Saint-Étienne in 25:33, good enough to top Movistar’s Marc Soler by 11 seconds. Quick-Step’s Julian Alaphilippe was third, 16 seconds down.

Astana’s Luis León Sánchez came home in seventh on the day, maintaining his overall race lead. Poels moved into second on GC with his stage-winning ride.

“It was a quite hard one, especially at the beginning with the hill, and at the end a little short kick. It was a really hard TT but really good for me,” Poels said.

Stage 4, top 10

Top 10 overall

Sky’s Dylan van Baarle was the first of the early starters to set a noteworthy mark, earning himself a long stretch in the hot seat before the GC contenders started rolling in.

His teammate Sergio Henao was one of those strong performers, coming across the line as Sky’s best on the day before Poels finished his ride. Among the last 20 riders on the road, Poels enjoyed a fast start on the course and stayed fast in the run-in to Saint-Étienne, powering into the provisional lead by a hefty margin. Soler was not far behind in the start order, but came up 11 seconds short of Poels.

Alaphilippe, starting fourth to last, got faster as his ride went on. Although he nearly crashed on a descent, he came home with the third best, time, good enough to move into third overall on the general classification.

With the time trial in the books, Sánchez sits atop the overall leaderboard with an 15-second gap to Poels.

“We still have a few cards in GC,” Poels said. “I’m now good in GC, and Sergio is still doing good, so we’re still up at the front and we can fight for it.”

Stage 4 results

General classification