Paris-Nice Stage 6: De Marchi in the Break, Porte Climbs to Third10. March 2017, Fayence (FRA) — Road Team
The first day of climbing at Paris-Nice saw a battle of the General Classification contenders play out over six categorized climbs, culminating in a short, steep climb to the finish in Fayence.
Despite multiple attacks, it wasn’t until the 40km mark on the 193.5km stage that an eight-rider breakaway went clear, including Alessandro De Marchi.
The group gained five minutes on the peloton, however once Team Sky began the chase with 80km to go the group’s advantage began to decrease.
Eventually, it was just De Marchi and Eduardo Sepulveda (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) who had the legs on the climbs with the duo losing their six breakaway companions.
The reduced peloton, including Richie Porte, Nicolas Roche and Dylan Teuns, made the catch with 20km to go, making way for new attacks from the bunch.
Simon Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) made a solo move inside the last 15km and quickly gained more than 30 seconds, which was ultimately enough to stay away and take the win.
Sergio Henao (Team Sky) attacked from the bunch and Richie Porte responded to go clear of the group and take third place on the line.
With two tough stages in the mountains remaining it will be a battle for the podium to come.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I gave it my all today and came here in a good position. I thought when I was riding at the front that they [the bunch] might let me go because I’m not a threat. Sergio Henao (Team Sky) was super strong. It was such a hard day so I’m happy to rebound. I think it’s good signs for the weekend. Today was such a hard stage that I think tomorrow and Sunday are going to be as well. I think tomorrow suits me better with the longer climbs which will be better for me. We’ll see how it goes. There are still minor placings to go for on the GC.”
Alessandro De Marchi:
“It was the plan to make the breakaway today but it wasn’t the right day in the end. When we had 5 minutes and that was the maximum, I knew that it would be difficult to go to the final. When Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) attacked, we tried to keep going and then eventually it was just Sepulveda (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and me. It was good to be able to test my legs and it was the first day this year that I went to the limit like that. I am far from top shape, which is normal at this time of the year. We’ll see tomorrow if a breakaway can stay away. But, with the GC all over the place, it’s completely up to the bunch. At the end of today I’m happy.”
Stage 6: Aubagne > Fayence (193.5km)
Top 3: 1. Simon Yates (ORICA-SCOTT), 2. Sergio Henao (Team Sky), 3. Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 3. Richie Porte, 16. Nicolas Roche, 22. Amaël Moinard.