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Paris-Nice: Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas seal Team Sky one-two on stage four

But duo can't prevent Michal Kwiatkowski regaining race lead

Richie Porte wins stage four of the 2015 Paris-Nice ahead of Geraint Thomas
Image: Richie Porte led Geraint Thomas over the line on stage four of Paris-Nice

Richie Porte claimed victory and Geraint Thomas finished second to hand Team Sky a magnificent one-two on stage four of Paris-Nice, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Michal Kwiatkowski regaining the overall lead of the race.

Team Sky set the pace all the way up the 10km climb to the summit finish at Croix de Chaubouret and after Thomas had blown the front group apart with attack 3km out, Porte made the decisive move with 900m remaining.

Thomas was the only rider who could follow the marauding Australian and the pair crossed the line one behind the other to claim 10 and six bonus seconds respectively and seal arguably the most impressive team performance of the season so far.

However, Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step), who had started the day 15 seconds ahead of Porte and 13 seconds in front of Thomas, dug deep to finish eight seconds down on the Team Sky duo and, crucially, claim four bonus seconds.

Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas, Team Sky, Paris-Nice 2015, stage four

That was just enough to see him return to the top of the general classification and hang on to a one-second lead over second-placed Porte, with Thomas two seconds further back in third.

Porte told afterwards: “That was a great performance from the team,” said a delighted Porte after the stage. “We took it on from the bottom of that last climb – it wasn’t easy on there, so to finish first and second is fantastic."

The win was Porte's fourth of the season following stage victories at the Volta ao Algarve and Tour Down Under and success in the Australian national time-trial championship.

More from 2015 Cycling News

Paris-Nice continues on Friday with a rolling 192km fifth stage from Saint-Etienne to Rasteau.

Stage four result

1 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky, 5:18:39
2 Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky, same time
3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx – Quick-Step, +8secs
4 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, st
5 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing, +17
6 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida, +24
7 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal, st
8 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, st
9 Rafael Valls (Esp) Lampre-Merida, st
10 Simon Spilak (Svk) Katusha, st

General classification

1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx – Quick-Step, 19:44:11
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky, +1sec
3 Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky, +3
4 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing, +27
5 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, +32
6 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal, +38
7 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida, +41
8 Gorka Izagirre (Esp) Movistar, +44
9 Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha, +50
10 Rafael Valls (Esp) Lampre-Merida, +51

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