Denmark’s Magnus Cort moved to the top of the overall standings of Paris-Nice on Tuesday despite Jumbo-Visma winning the team time trial on stage three in central France.
Nielsen, 30, holds a one-second advantage over Belgian Nathan Van Hooydonck in second place and three seconds over Australian Michael Matthews in third.
Wednesday’s fourth stage is a 165km ride south from Saint-Amand-Montrond to La Loge des Gardes passing through Vichy.
“I thought it was a good route, it wasn’t very technical, but not completely flat either,” Cort said.
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“Tomorrow? It will be a difficult day but I will do my best to keep the jersey.”