Skjelmose bounces back for Lidl-Trek with Paris-Nice podium

After the disappoint of a sub-standard team time trial, Mattias Skjelmose fought back with a terrific climbing display to take third on Stage 4

How it happened

The 183km from Chalon-sur-Saône to Mont Brouilly was expected to be one of the most significant in view of the General Classification. With seven categorised climbs of varying lengths and severities, there was barely a flat stretch of road throughout the whole day. Most eyes were on the three major GC teams; Soudal-Quickstep led by Remco Evenepoel, a Bora-Hansgrohe outfit built around Primož Roglič, and UAE Team Emirates with João Almeida and Brandon McNulty. In the end, the major attacks never materialized, but two outsiders, Luke Plapp (Jayco AlUla) and Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious) seized the chance to attack on the penultimate climb whilst the others looked at one another. In the GC group behind, Mattias Skjelmose closely followed Evenepoel, who was unable to make a dent in the margin to the leaders. The two attackers stayed away to the end of the race, with Buitrago dropping Plapp in the last 1200 meters to take the win. It came down to a very tight sprint between Skjelmose and Evenepoel, but the Lidl-Trek rider was able to best the former world champion by a handful to centimeters to take third and an extra four bonus seconds.


In Skjelly’s words

“I was feeling quite good all week and this performance proves it. We knew it was a good finish for me. Unfortunately we couldn’t compete for the win but I think this feels close enough to a win. I thought Remco and Primoz would go earlier, perhaps on the second to last climb but they didn’t, which was a bit unexpected. That was fine for me, it went ok the way it turned out. At the finish, I just went all out, and then more all out, and I could go a bit more all-out than Remco in the end, enough to beat him by a couple of centimeters. It was a bit of a surprise but I felt really good. I still hope we have a race on Saturday that is at least similar to the original plan, so hopefully there is a chance to make more changes to the GC. If not, then we’ll for sure have the chance on Sunday.”


Photos of our day

Courtesy of Getty

Jasper Stuyven tries to get in the breakaway

Otto Vergaerde and Mads Pedersen keep Mattias Skjelmose out of trouble