Sylvain Chavanel (BMC) displayed unheralded sprinting power to beat world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) on the line and claim his third stage victory in Paris-Nice on Saturday. Already winner in Cannes (2008 ) and Vichy (2009), the Frenchman caught the Belgian favorite off his guard to give France its third victory in this edition. Spanish sprinter Jose Joaquin Rojas was third.
Richie Porte, safely assisted by his Sky team-mates, retained the overall lead with a 32 seconds gap over Andrew Talansky (GRS) while Chavanel shot to third, 41 seconds adrift. Porte is now 9.6 kms away from...
Located between the Luberon Mountains, the River Durance and the Verdon Mountains, Manosque is first and foremost popular for its medieval charm. From the Knights Hospitallers to the tales of Jean Giono, it is a town full of history and legend. In 1516, the beautiful Honnorade de Voland, chosen as an offering to King François 1st for the night when he passed through the town, preferred to disfigure herself rather than be dishonoured. He therefore gave it the nickname of "Manosque the modest"! However the soul of the town of Jean Giono, that of "Manosque of the Hills", can be found just as much in the maze of little streets running through the old town and the shaded squares as in the four gates making up the entrances at the cardinal points of the town: Soubeyran, Saunerie, Aubette and Guilhempierre.
Here, with 300 days of sunshine per year, there is a gentle blend of the Alpine and Mediterranean atmospheres. This may explain the pace of development of this little town, which only had 5,000 inhabitants in 1950. The Cadarache nuclear research centre, the repatriated populations from Algeria, the establishment of businesses on the River Durance and the ITER international project have modernised the town of 23,000 inhabitants which is the biggest in the department of Alpes de Haute-Provence.
Favourably located between mountains and the sea, Nice enjoys a unique climate and an exceptional setting. The capital of the Côte d'Azur with its 350,000 inhabitants, making it France's 5th largest town is the second most popular tourist destination in the country and attracts more than 4.5 million visitors each year thanks to France's second biggest airport, visited by 11 million passengers in 2012.
Highly popular with tourists, "Nissa la Bella" is always bursting with visitors both during the carnival and also during major sporting events: Prom'Classic, IronMan, ATP Nice Open, Alpes-Maritimes Marathon... Indeed, the thriving world of sport in Nice was revealed during the Olympic Games in London where swimmers Yannick Agnel and Camille Muffat won 6 medals including 3 gold ones. Christian Estrosi, deputy mayor, plans to use the momentum of the excellent swimming results in Nice to move up a gear by creating an Olympic-size swimming pool in September. This project is supported by a 2013 sports budget of €38 million, proof of the town's great sporting ambition.
Jersey wearers after the stage 7
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