photo credits @ Le Tour
ORICA-Scott’s Simon Yates claimed stage 6 of Paris-Nice today, after attacking during the final kilometers to seize a solo victory in the uphill finish to Fayance.
“I had a small idea about trying something, but it all depended on how I felt and the conditions,” Yates said. “It got to the moment, and I said to myself ‘why not? I haven’t got anything to lose so if I get caught I get caught’. So I tried, and I’m just happy it worked.”
“It’s one of the biggest races we do, and one of the hardest week-long races. I’m really happy to be able to win again – it’s my first win of the season, and I hope this continues for a good year.”
Meanwhile, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) retained his grip on the overall race lead, after finishing fourth in today’s stage.
After 50 kilometers of racing, an eight rider breakaway group containing Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Axel Dumont (AG2R-La Mondiale), Winner Anacona and Jose Herrada (Movistar), Michael Valgren (Astana) Ben Swift (UAE), Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) and Eduardo Sepulveda (Fortuneo Vital Concept), finally managed to ride clear.
From there, the breakaway group went on to establish an advantage of more than five minutes over the peloton.
However, once the escapees reached the first ascent of the Col de Bourigaille, the breakaway group began to disintegrate, leaving just De Marchi and Sepulveda out front.
Back in the peloton, Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) decided to attack, prompting Alaphilippe to respond quickly – followed by his QuickStep teammate Dan Martin and Sergio Henao (Sky).
During the second ascent of the Bourigaille, Alapphilippe and Henao had succeeded in opening up a gap of approximately half a minute over the chase.
However, the two riders were eventually reclaimed by the peloton with 21 kilometers to go.
Shortly thereafter, Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) launched his winning move 600 meters before the summit, and quickly opened up a 12-second gap over the peloton as he crested the summit.
Yates continued to open up his lead along the descent, later hitting the final climb with a 46 second lead over the chase with 1.2 kilometers to go.
Back in the main group, Richie Porte decided to attack along the final climb, but rather than let a non-threatening rider go clear, Alaphilippe decided to shut down the Australian rider’s aggressions and stamp his authority on the race.
Still, a determined Porte decided to attack again, only to have his move countered by Henao this time.
At one point, Alaphilippe appeared to be struggling to stay on terms with Henao along the steep ascent.
Nevertheless, he managed to limit his losses by finishing within 12 seconds of the Colombian rider.
Stage 6 Results
GBR 1 YATES, Simon (ORICA – SCOTT) 4:37:51
COL 2 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY) + 17
AUS 3 PORTE, Richie (BMC RACING) + 26
FRA 4 ALAPHILIPPE, Julian (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) + 29
IRL 5 MARTIN, Daniel (QUICK – STEP FLOORS)
ESP 6 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Jon (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) + 32
DEN 7 FUGLSANG, Jakob (ASTANA)
ESP 8 CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (TREK – SEGAFREDO)
RUS 9 ZAKARIN, Ilnur (KATUSHA ALPECIN)
FRA 10 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL)
ITA 11 ULISSI, Diego (UAE Team Emirates) + 39
ESP 12 IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI, Gorka (MOVISTAR)
FRA 13 BARGUIL, Warren (SUNWEB)
AUT 14 KONRAD, Patrick (BORA – HANSGROHE) + 58
NED 15 OOMEN, Sam (SUNWEB) + 1:05
IRL 16 ROCHE, Nicholas (BMC RACING) + 1:41
ESP 17 NIEVE ITURRALDE, Mikel (SKY) + 2:24
SLO 18 POLANC, Jan (UAE Team Emirates) + 3:47
FRA 19 EDET, Nicolas (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS) + 3:50
COL 20 PANTANO GOMEZ, Jarlinson (TREK – SEGAFREDO)
General Classification after Stage 6
FRA 1 ALAPHILIPPE, Julian (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) 21:58:22
FRA 2 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 36
COL 3 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY) + 46
ESP 4 IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI, Gorka (MOVISTAR) + 57
IRL 5 MARTIN, Daniel (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) + 1:20
RUS 6 ZAKARIN, Ilnur (KATUSHA ALPECIN) + 1:31
ESP 7 CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 1:34
GBR 8 YATES, Simon (ORICA – SCOTT) + 1:37
ESP 9 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Jon (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) + 2:04
FRA 10 BARGUIL, Warren (SUNWEB) + 3:08
BEL 11 GILBERT, Philippe Marc Jacky (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) + 6:41
FRA 12 MOLARD, Rudy (FDJ) + 7:25
FRA 13 HARDY, Romain (FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT) + 9:59
NED 14 TANKINK, Bram (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 14:50
AUS 15 PORTE, Richie (BMC RACING) + 15:54
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