Paris-Nice Stage 6: Chavanel wins on the Promenade des Anglais, Porte keeps commanding lead

Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider's victory puts him third overall, Team Sky man leads GC by more than half a minute with just the closing TT to come

by Simon_MacMichael   March 9, 2013  

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Sylvain Chavanel of Omega Pharma-Quick Step came through late to beat world champion Philippe Gilbert of BMC Racing to take Stage 6 of Paris-Nice on the Promenade des Anglais this afternoon, with Jose Joaquin Rojas of Movistar third. Team Sky's Richie Porte leads the overall standings by more than half a minute with just tomorrow's 9.6 kilometre time trial from Nice up to the Col d'Eze to come and looks set to succeed team mate Bradley Wiggins on the roll of Paris-Nice winners.

Today's sprint at the end of the 220 kilometre stage from Manosque was contested by a group of a little more than 40 riders after the selection had been made over the Category 1 climb of the Col du Ferrier.

It seemed to be heading to a straight fight between Gilbert and AG2R's Samuel Dumoulin, whose team mates had ridden hard in the closing kilometres to put him in a position to contest the win, but who finished fourth. It was Chavanel, however, who burst through ahead of the line to clinch victory.

With Vasil Kiryienka putting in a huge turn at the front of the group in the latter part of the stage until AG2R and BMC launched their leadouts ahead of the flamme rouge, Porte came home safely in the front bunch and retains a commanding lead of more than half a minute over second placed Andrew Talansky of Garmin-Sharp.

Thanks to the bonus seconds he secured today, French time trial champion Chavanel will start tomorrow's short final stage third overall, on the same time as last year's runner-up Vacansoleil-DCM's Lieuwe Westra, but ranked ahead of the Dutchman on countback. 

"I am super happy," said Chavanel aftewards. "It's the second time I won here in Nice, after my victory in 2008. It's always a great emotion to raise the arms here.

"Today I decided to do the sprint because I was looking for some points for the Green Jersey. There was a head wind in the final, so I asked Kevin De Weert to stay near me. He did a great job and he left me in the perfect position on the wheel of Gilbert and Dumoulin. With the bonification I took, I'm now 3rd. Tomorrow will be difficult for me, but I will try to do my best to stay in the top 10."

"Today is a special day for the team," the Omega Pharma-Quick Step went on. "[Michal] Kwiatkowski the new leader at Tirreno is great news. I'm happy for him and the team, and I hope he can keep the jersey as long as he can."

Reflecting on a day spent defending the maillot jaune he took yesterday, Porte, a former wearer of the maglia rosa in his Saxo Bank days said: "I'd already been in that position before in the Giro. It was extremely stressful. But Kiryienka and [David] López did such a brilliant job. Full credit to them, they really made my life easier.

"From the start, the team controlled the race brilliantly and showed we were the strongest team in the the race."

As for tomorrow's task, he said: "I know Col d'Eze very well as I live in Monaco. I have to be confident. Yesterday I showed I had excellent climbing legs and this is a climbing time trial. There are still great time trial riders behind me but I have a 32 seconds head start on the next guy and it's a nice position to be in."

Paris-Nice Stage 6 result  

1  CHAVANEL Sylvain       OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP     05h 14' 23''
2  GILBERT Philippe       BMC RACING TEAM           All at same time
3  ROJAS Jose Joaquin     MOVISTAR TEAM
4  DUMOULIN Samuel        AG2R LA MONDIALE
5  GALLOPIN Tony          RADIOSHACK LEOPARD
6  SIMON Julien           SOJASUN
7  BOZIC Borut            ASTANA PRO TEAM
8  HAUSSLER Heinrich      IAM CYCLING
9  HIVERT Jonathan        SOJASUN
10 LOSADA Alberto         KATUSHA TEAM
11 SORENSEN Nicki         TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF
12 BARGUIL Warren         TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO
13 RATTO Daniele          CANNONDALE
14 MATE Luis Angel        COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
15 RAST Gregory           RADIOSHACK LEOPARD
16 DE MARCHI Alessandro   CANNONDALE
17 VELITS Peter           OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP
18 FLORENCIO Xavier       KATUSHA TEAM
19 ALBASINI Michael       ORICA GREENEDGE
20 MALACARNE Davide       TEAM EUROPCAR
 
Overall standings after Stage 6  

1  PORTE Richie           SKY PROCYCLING              29h 40' 31''
2  TALANSKY Andrew        GARMIN - SHARP                + 00' 32''
3  CHAVANEL Sylvain       OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP       + 00' 42''
4  WESTRA Lieuwe          VACANSOLEIL-DCM               + 00' 42''
5  PERAUD Jean-Christophe AG2R LA MONDIALE              + 00' 49''
6  VAN GARDEREN Tejay     BMC RACING TEAM               + 00' 52''
7  VELITS Peter           OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP       + 00' 53''
8  SPILAK Simon           KATUSHA TEAM                  + 00' 53''
9  ULISSI Diego           LAMPRE - MERIDA               + 00' 54''
10 GRIVKO Andriy          ASTANA PRO TEAM               + 01' 06''

2 user comments

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For all their similarities, you rarely see Chavanel and Gilbert go up against each other. I guess they'd never want to get into the same break, or such a break would never be allowed to get away. Only when they are the two closest things to sprinters, in a race lacking the big names in sprinting, does it happen, as is the case here because the Tirreno Adriatico is on at the same time.

posted by ubercurmudgeon [168 posts]
9th March 2013 - 19:02

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It does happen sometimes... Flanders a couple of years ago when Nuyens won, Chavanel was second and Gilbert was top ten too.

But yes, to go head to head for a sprint is different, although to be honest Chavanel came very late today and probably wasn't even on Gilbert's radar.

Both looking in decent shape ahead of the Spring though...

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7940 posts]
9th March 2013 - 19:59

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