Porte Triumphs on Paris-Nice Queen Stage11. March 2017, Col de la Couillole (FRA) — Road Team
Richie Porte launched an impressive attack on the Col de la Couillole summit finish to take the solo win on the queen stage of Paris-Nice, his fifth career win at the race.
Four categorized climbs, including three category 1 climbs and the highest finish in the history of the race, were on the menu, with a breakaway going clear in the first 10km of racing.
The General Classification contenders started pulling the breakaway back halfway through the stage and on the penultimate climb of the day, Alessandro De Marchi, Amaël Moinard and Nicolas Roche were protecting Porte in the bunch.
At the base of the final climb the peloton was down to forty or so riders, and as the pressure was put on by De Marchi and Team Sky, riders began to drop away.
The group caught the remaining breakaway riders and a huge effort by Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo) saw a select group of just seven riders in front, including Porte, with 5km remaining.
Porte seized his opportunity 3.2km before the finish line and launched a solo attack. Within a few hundred meters Porte has distanced himself from the group and gained 15 seconds on the chasers.
His lead extended to 35 seconds and as Porte approached the finish line he had time to zip up his jersey and celebrate as he crossed the line, 21 seconds ahead of Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), and 32 seconds ahead of Dan Martin (Quickstep-Floors).
Porte has moved into 12th place on the General Classification with one stage to go.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Congratulations Richie! How does it feel to win the queen stage?
“It hurt so much but it was such a sweet victory after the disaster we had early in the week. But I must take my hat off to the team, they were absolutely incredible all week and they never lost faith in me. So I say a big thank you to them. I wasn’t always easy to deal with this week.”
You have had a lot of success at Paris-Nice. How important was it for you to win a stage?
“I love this race. It means so much to me. To win a stage here is incredible. It gives an incredible feeling of satisfaction. Words don’t sum it up.”
Tell us how it played out for you.
“I did know this climb. Two weeks ago we did reconnaissance of it. It was a beautiful climb. We were lucky with the weather that we could get this high. It’s the highest finish of Paris-Nice ever which is incredible. I’ll take great memories from this.”
“It was hard to line up on Tuesday after stage 2, but it makes you a little bit hungrier. I had a couple of little goes at it on the way up. I didn’t so much as attack, but more rolled off the front a little bit there. The others didn’t have to chase me for GC but the last 3km were absolute hell. To finish it off is a great way to finish the week.”
“The boys rode on the front basically from kilometer 0 to put me in the good position. I must tip by hat to those guys. It’s not over. We still have another hard stage tomorrow. It’s nice for me to take a bit of a backseat and sit back and watch the fireworks. I think it’s going to be a spectacle tomorrow. It will be a really exciting race.”
Does this give you confidence for the next part of the season?
“It’s good signs for me. I have a new coach David Bailey who has really been good this last year and I think we are on a good path for July. My climbing is up there with the best in the world. So we’ll take it race by race now, but I’m looking forward to July for sure.”
Stage 7: Nice > Col de la Couillole (177km)
Top 3: 1. Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team), 2. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), 3. Dan Martin (Quickstep-Floors).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 1. Richie Porte, 27. Nicolas Roche, 61. Amaël Moinard.
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.