Dylan Teuns Climbs to Second on Paris-Nice Queen Stage10. March 2018, Valdeblore La Colmiane (FRA) — Road Team
Dylan Teuns may be known for his prowess on short, steep climbs but on the queen stage of Paris-Nice, Teuns showed he is capable of climbing with the best on any climb with an impressive attack on the summit finish to claim second place and move into fifth overall.
Teuns started the day in 11th place on the General Classification, one minute behind then race leader Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team) and with five categorized climbs on the menu, the final 16km category 1 climb set the stage for a showdown.
The battle for the breakaway played out in the first 10km, of the 175km stage, and Alessandro De Marchi and Nicolas Roche found themselves in an eight-rider group.
With De Marchi within three minutes of Sanchez at the start of the day, and the knowledge that the final climb was important for the General Classification, the peloton kept the group’s advantage around two-minutes until 50km to go.
From there, the pace in the peloton picked up when the group split and several contenders were caught out behind which saw the breakaway’s advantage reduce to one minute with 40km remaining.
On the descent and run into the Valdeblore La Colmiane, De Marchi suffered a nasty crash when he flew over the guard rail and into the ravine below. Fortunately, De Marchi was able to climb back onto the road and after suffering superficial injuries, he was able to continue racing after a bike change.
Roche maintained his position at the front of the race inside 20km to go and was joined by Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Amael Moinard (Fortuneo) but the trio’s advantage at the base of the climb was just 35 seconds and the peloton was gaining ground quickly.
The reduced group of favorites, featuring Teuns, swept Gallopin up with 14km to go and from there a stalemate ensued for the next 9km during which time a number of contenders were dropped by the solid pace, including Sanchez.
With 4km to go, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) attacked and established a 15-second gap with Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) over the chase group which included Teuns.
As the pace became difficult for more riders, Teuns launched his own attack 2km before the finish line and with a quick glance over his shoulder to see that no one could match his speed, Teuns surged clear in pursuit of Yates and Izagirre.
Another attack from Yates proved to be the winning move while behind, Teuns was closing in on Izagirre and managed to overtake him just before the line to claim second place.
Teuns’ attack sees him sit fifth overall with one stage remaining, a short but tough 110km battle in the mountains around Nice.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I’m good on short and steep climbs but when a long climb gets really steep, and switches between steep and flat, it’s not as good for me. So, these long but steady climbs like today are much better for me. The pace that was made was really good. I was in the first half of the group until this little flat section and I was pretty confident about my legs and how I was going. Mitchelton-SCOTT started to put a harder pace after the flat part and I was still ok. I knew that something would happen in the last 4km but I thought it was maybe too far from the finish line for me to do something. In the end maybe I should have followed Simon Yates because it was a good moment.”
“First I attacked and didn’t make a big gap. Tim Wellens, Gorka Izagirre, and Sergio Henao were chasing behind and they were quite close so I thought that maybe it wasn’t a good move. They are three strong riders so if they came back to me it would have been difficult. I slowed down a bit and attacked a second time and saw that I had a gap so I just went without looking behind me again.”
“Normally tomorrow’s stage suits me. It’s a shorter stage, but a hard stage. I don’t know what to expect but it’s all up and down tomorrow so it will be a hard race from the beginning.”
Alessandro De Marchi:
“I was following Nicolas Roche on the descent and we went into a corner fast and I got a bit scared and braked. I tried to stop but I was going too fast and just went flying over the barrier. I lay there for about 20 seconds and knew that nothing was broken so I was able to get up. I’m lucky that I just have some abrasions on my leg and shoulder. It’s disappointing because I was feeling really good and was about to attack from the breakaway. My problem today was that I didn’t have any fear in the descents and this is a dangerous thing.”
Fabio Baldato, Sports Director:
“We knew that Dylan was good and motivated but it was still something new from him. I’m really happy. Dylan just told me that if he had followed Yates maybe he would have been able to stay with him. We knew he could be good on climbs of five or six kilometres but today with the hard stage we had, the long climb and with the rain, he was really good. The team was racing around him and we had two riders in the breakaway which was important for the morale and the motivation. Tomorrow is another difficult day. It will be rainy and technical. We need to stay around Dylan as he is fifth in GC now, and it would be nice to keep this position.”
Stage 7 Nice > Valdeblore La Colmiane (175km)
Top 3: 1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), 2. Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team), 3. Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida Pro Team).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 2. Dylan Teuns, 35. Jurgen Roelandts, 36. Nicolas Roche
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.