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Paris – Nice 2015 Stage 6

photo credit @ Paris – Nice

excerpts from Paris – Nice

Tony Gallopin boldly took advantage of the rainy conditions and his knowledge of the terrain to seize the reins of Paris-Nice after a remarkable effort in the penultimate stage in the Nice hinterland on Saturday. The Frenchman, winner on his own on a rain-soaked Promenade des Anglais, will carry a 36-seconds lead over 2013 winner Richie Porte into tomorrow’s time-trial up Col d’Eze with the hope of becoming the first local rider to win the event since Laurent Jalabert in 1997. Raindrops, attacks, crashes, the 192-kms ride between Vence and Nice was spectacular and the fierce battle between Porte, his Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas and yellow-jersey holder Michal Kwiatkowski finally favoured Gallopin, now in an ideal position top to sweep the board.

De Gendt secures polka-dot

Eager to secure his polka-dot jersey, Thomas De Gendt (LTS) surged after three kilometers, taking 13 other riders on his heels. The 14 were quickly chased by another bunch of 15, who caught up with them halfway up Cote de Vence. In the meantime, the few sprinters who were part of the break lost ground while another group of seven riders, led by Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) edged closer. De Gendt collected the ten points available in Vence and a regrouping of 31 riders took place in the descent at kilometre 48.

Sprinters out

While De Gendt strengthened his KOM lead along the way, several sprinters like Bryan Coquard (EUC) or Nacer Bouhanni (COF) decided to call it quits not to take any chances on roads made slippery by the rain. The lead of the 31 topped at 2:55 at kilometer 80. His polka-dot jersey secured, De Gendt eased off as the leading group started to split in the descent of Cote de Chateauneuf while Sylvain Chavanel raised the tempo.

Kwiatkowski gambles

At the foot of Cote de Coaraze (Km 118), yellow jersey holder Michal Kwiatkowski launched a bold move with Etixx Quick Step team-mates Tony Martin, Julian Alaphilippe and Michal Golas in order to surprise his nearest rivals, Team Sky’s Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas. They held a 40 seconds lead but were later reined in the climb. In the first category Col Saint-Roch, the leading group split, leaving only ten riders in the front: Bakelants (ALM), Jon Izaguirre (MOV), Gautier (EUC), Yates (OGE), Chavanel (IAM), Wellens (LTS), Edet and Mate (COF), Valgren (TCS) and Bauer (TCG).

Second attempt

Kwiatkowski again attempted to put pressure on Porte and Thomas by speeding down the descent along with Martin, Alaphilippe and Tony Gallopin. The four caught what remained of the break with 40 kms to go. At that stage, Porte, Thomas and the other favourites were 35 seconds behind the world champion. Ten kilometres later after a brave effort by Geraint Thomas, their group had quashed the world champion’s attempt once again.

Sky strike back…

The Cote de Peille sorted the men from the boys. Worn out by his two attacks, Kwiatkowski lost ground when Porte attacked, quickly followed by Thomas. With 25 kms to go, Tony Gallopin went on his own and rapidly took a substantial lead. At the top of the climb (km 158.5) he led a group including Rui Costa, Valls, Fuglsang, Porte, Thomas and Spilak by 25 seconds and the group featuring Kwiatkoskwi, Vichot, Izaguirre, Edet, Valgren and Chavanel by 40 seconds.

… and crash

In the descent, as the yellow jersey looked set to change hands, Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas both crashed in turn with 18 km to go and were chased down by the Kwiatkowski group. The fight for the yellow jersey had been intense but fruitless and
it favoured Gallopin, who increased his lead in the long descent to Nice with Rui Costa, Valls, Fuglsang and Spilak 25 seconds behind him and the three leaders of the GC nearly a minute behind.

Stage 6 Results
FRA 1 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL) 4:52:57
SLO 2 SPILAK, Simon (KATUSHA) + 32
POR 3 FARIA DA COSTA, Rui Alberto (LAMPRE – MERIDA)
DEN 4 FUGLSANG, Jakob (ASTANA)
ESP 5 VALLS FERRI, Rafael (LAMPRE – MERIDA) + 35
DEN 6 ANDERSEN, Michael Valgren (TINKOFF – SAXO) + 1:00
BEL 7 WELLENS, Tim (LOTTO SOUDAL)
FRA 8 CHAVANEL, Sylvain (IAM CYCLING)
FRA 9 VICHOT, Arthur (FDJ)
FRA 10 EDET, Nicolas (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
ESP 11 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Gorka (MOVISTAR)
AUS 12 PORTE, Richie (SKY)
GBR 13 THOMAS, Geraint (SKY)
POL 14 KWIATKOWSKI, Michal (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 1:02
FRA 15 BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 2:17
NED 16 KELDERMAN, Wilco (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)
POL 17 GOLAS, Michal (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
ESP 18 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Jon (MOVISTAR)
BEL 19 BAKELANTS, Jan (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
BEL 20 GILBERT, Philippe (BMC RACING) + 4:57
USA 21 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING)
GBR 22 SWIFT, Ben (SKY)
FRA 23 BOUET, Maxime (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
ESP 24 MATE MARDONES, Luis Angel (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS) + 5:45
NED 25 KRUIJSWIJK, Steven (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 7:29
ESP 26 ERVITI OLLO, Imanol (MOVISTAR)
AUS 27 CLARKE, Simon (ORICA GreenEDGE)
CRO 28 KISERLOVSKI, Robert (TINKOFF – SAXO)
NZL 29 BAUER, Jack (CANNONDALE – GARMIN) + 9:41
LUX 30 JUNGELS, Bob (TREK FACTORY RACING)
NED 31 BOOM, Lars (ASTANA)
FRA 32 CHEREL, Mikael (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
FRA 33 ALAPHILIPPE, Julian (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
FRA 34 GAUTIER, Cyril (EUROPCAR)
GER 35 MARTIN, Tony (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 13:01
POR 36 MOREIRA PAULINHO, Sergio Miguel (TINKOFF – SAXO)
AUS 37 MATTHEWS, Michael (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 15:12
RUS 38 TROFIMOV, Yury (KATUSHA)
RUS 39 CHERNETSKI, Sergei (KATUSHA)
NED 40 TANKINK, Bram (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)
FRA 41 FEDRIGO, Pierrick (BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT)
IRL 42 ROCHE, Nicolas (SKY) + 15:15
GBR 43 YATES, Simon (ORICA GreenEDGE)
FRA 44 VOECKLER, Thomas (EUROPCAR) + 16:14
ITA 45 BONIFAZIO, Niccolo (LAMPRE – MERIDA)
SUI 46 DILLIER, Silvan (BMC RACING) + 18:37
NED 47 SLAGTER, Tom Jelte (CANNONDALE – GARMIN)
ESP 48 ROJAS GIL, Jose Joaquin (MOVISTAR)
NED 49 VAN EMDEN, Jos (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 18:53
SUI 50 FRANK, Mathias (IAM CYCLING)

General Classification after Stage 6
FRA 1 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL) 28:49:42
AUS 2 PORTE, Richie (SKY) + 36
POL 3 KWIATKOWSKI, Michal (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 37
GBR 4 THOMAS, Geraint (SKY) + 38
DEN 5 FUGLSANG, Jakob (ASTANA)
POR 6 FARIA DA COSTA, Rui Alberto (LAMPRE – MERIDA) + 42
SLO 7 SPILAK, Simon (KATUSHA) + 53
ESP 8 VALLS FERRI, Rafael (LAMPRE – MERIDA) + 1:01
ESP 9 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Gorka (MOVISTAR) + 1:19
BEL 10 WELLENS, Tim (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 2:00

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