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Paris Nice Stage 6 Report, Photos and Results
 
By Mark Sharon
Date: 3/14/2014
Paris Nice Stage 6 Report, Photos and Results
 
Untitled Document

14 March, 2014

Stage 6, 153km, Saint-Saturnin-lès-Avignon - Fayence

BETANCUR seizes control as the race reaches its climax

With the Mediterranean just a salt-tinged gust of wind away Carlos Betancur wrested control of the Paris-Nice from Sky's Thomas Geraint.

The Colombian had emerged to save a nightmare stage for his AG2R team the previous day in Rive-de-Gier and this time crowned an immaculate team effort to seize the reins from Welshman Thomas, who limited the damage by finishing fourth at the top of the steep final ascent overlooking Fayence. Bentancur has an eight second lead of the Sky rider with two days to go.

The other stage honours went to world champion Alberto Rui Costa, pipped on the line by Betancur, and now third overall, 18 seconds adrift, while Czech Zdenek Stybar was third.

BETANCUR GOMEZ Carlos Alberto (AG2R) wins stage 6 © ASO P.Perreve

Chavanel strikes

The peloton set off without Simon Gerrans (OGE), who pulled out after falling ill. After several unsuccessful attempts, Sylvain Chavanel (IAM), who had promised to "blow up the race", kept his promise by attacking with seven other riders.

The Frenchman quickly found himself on his own and and managed to add four uncontested points to his polka-dot jersey on Cote de Bonnieux (Km 36.5) before winning the first intermediate sprint in Lourmarin (Km 45.5). In the same sprint, John Degenkolb (GIA) collected a two-seconds bonus, coming back within a second of race leader Geraint Thomas (SKY). 

Ten on the move

With a major part of his day's targats met Chavanel stopped his effort for the while. Several attacks followed and just before km 68, ten men finally broke clear. They were Stephen Cummings (BMC), Jens Keukeleire (OGE), Mattia Cattaneo (LAM),  Pim Ligthart (LTB), Giovanni Bernaudeau (EUC), Gregory Rast (TFR), Aleksandr Kuchynski (KAT), Adrien Petit (COF), Alessandro De Marchi (CAN) and Florian Vachon (BSE).  Their lead topped at 3:15 after 99 kms. By the Cote des Tuilieres (km 164.5), the gap had been cut down to one minute as Chavanel and Thomas Voeckler (EUC) counter-attacked. The two Frenchmen caught the break at kilometre 169.

Sylvain CHAVANEL (IAM) on the cote de Bonnieux © ASO P.Perreve

Battle of Bourigaille

While Chavanel collected four more points on Cote du Mont Meaulx (km 180), the main pack, spearheaded by AG2R and Team Sky riders, steadily bridged the gap on a group gradually losing elements. At the foot of Col de Bourigaille, only Chavanel, Voeckler, Ligthart and De Marchi were left in the break. The polka-dot jersey holder insisted but was caught then dropped by Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R) and Jose Serpa (LAM) at kilometre 198. The peloton regrouped on the 200-km mark as Chavanel and Andy Schleck (TFR) lost ground irreversibly.

Stephan Denifl (IAM) was first at the top of the first category ascent, followed by Vuillermoz, Frank Schleck (TFR), Przemyslaw Niemec (LAM), Yury Trofimov (KAT) and Eduardo Sepulveda (BSE). But the six were brought back in the descent.

Final showdown

With 10 km left, Damiano Caruso (CAN) and Dries Devenyns (GIA) launched a new brave attempt, quashed by a jittery Vincenzo Nibali (AST) who later paid his efforts in the final climb. Betancur's AG2R team-mates seized the reins in the finale and sent Vuillermoz scouting the terrain for Betancur. But the Frenchman was unlucky to crash in a turn before the final kilometer while stage 4 winner Tom-Jelte Slagter was stopped by a mechanical as he was still in contention. World champion Rui Costa surged under the red flame to go for stage victory but could not get rid of Betancur, who took his wheel and overtook him on the line for his second stage win, crowned by a yellow jersey. Already winner of the Tour  du Haut-Var in the same region, the Colombian will now be tough to topple


Stage Result - Top 30

1 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La Mondiale 5:12:11
2 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida  
3 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:03
4 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky  
5 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.fr  
6 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:07
7 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team  
8 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol  
9 Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling  
10 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:11
11 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling  
12 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo  
13 John Gadret (Fra) Movistar Team  
14 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team  
15 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
16 Peter Velits (Svk) BMC Racing Team  
17 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha  
18 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
19 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
20 Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida 0:00:17
21 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
22 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:00:21
23 Brice Feillu (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement  
24 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr  
25 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale 0:00:25
26 Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Garmin Sharp  
27 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
28 Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne - Seche Environnement  
29 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 0:00:28
30 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:32

General Classification - Top 30

1 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La Mondiale 27:04:48
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:08
3 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida 0:00:18
4 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:22
5 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:24
6 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:25
7 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:27
8 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:29
9 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:31
10 Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling  
11 Peter Velits (Svk) BMC Racing Team 0:00:35
12 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha  
13 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling  
14 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol 0:00:37
15 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:45
16 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:46
17 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team  
18 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale 0:00:49
19 Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida 0:00:54
20 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:00:58
21 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 0:01:01
22 Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Garmin Sharp 0:01:02
23 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:05
24 Brice Feillu (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement 0:01:06
25 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Team Giant-Shimano 0:01:28
26 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp 0:01:43
27 John Gadret (Fra) Movistar Team 0:01:44
28 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:55
29 Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne - Seche Environnement 0:01:58
30 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:02

 



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