Saturday March 9th, 2013

Stage 6Manosque / Nice

Start 11h30 GMT 2+

Third time happy for Chavanel

Stage summary09.03.2013Stage 6- Manosque / Nice

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 becoming the first Australian to win the Race to the Sun on a climb he know like the palm of his hand.

Eleven in the lead

The start was given at 11:32 to 163 riders. Francis de Greef (LTB) and Alexis Vuillermoz (SOJ) did not start. Egor Silin (AST) attacked in the first climb of the day, Cote du Bois de Rousset (km 6.5) and was quickly joined by fellow-Russian Eduard Vorganov (KAT). The two were later joined by seven, then nine riders, forming a group of eleven escapees, who were  Simon Clarke (OGE) Egor Silin (AST), Gatis Smukulis (KAT), Eduard Vorganov (KAT),  Brent Bookwalter (BMC), Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ), Julien El Fares (SOJ), Borut Bozic (AST), Jerome Pineau (OPQ), Romain Bardet (ALM) and polka-dot jersey holder Johann Tschopp (IAM).  While Andreas Klier (BMC) called it quits, the gap regularly increased to settle at around three minutes.

Tschopp secures polka-dot jersey

Tschopp did not miss his chance to collect  some points along the way on Cote des Tuilieres (Km 87.5). At the feeding zone (Km 91), several riders decided it was time to end their Paris-Nice -- Robert Gesink (BLA), Thomas De Gendt (VCD), winner in Nice a year ago and Yoann Offredo (FDJ) returned to their hotels. In the first category Cote de Cabris, Smukulis and El Fares were dropped by his breakaway companions. Tschopp added ten points to his tally in the 1st category Cote de Cabris. In the following Col du Ferrier, Bookwalter, Pineau and Bozic also lost ground while Tschopp secured a polka-dot jersey he could now take all the way up Col d'Eze.

Break over

In the descent of Col du Ferrier, only six men were left in the lading group: Tschopp, Jeannesson, Silin, Clarke, Bardet and Vorganov. But their lead quickly melted as BMC and Team Sky riders sped frantically in the descent towards Tourrettes-sur-Loup. Silin was dropped first and the break ended at kilometre 181. The second sprint in Tourrettes-sur-Loup saw Sylvain Chavanel and Peter Velits (both OPQ) try to move with Andriy Grivko (AST), but they were quickly reined in by Team Sky.  Vasili Kiryienka and David Lopez Garcia took control of the bunch, Richie Porte on their heels, for most of the finale, with Andrew Talansky and Lieuwe Westra close by. In the finale, Philippe Gilbert looked ideally placed to grab the laurels when he was perfectly led out by his BMC team-mates but he probably launched the sprint too far and was outpowered on the line by Chavanel.

Stage 6 Manosque / Manosque

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 7

Classifications after the stage 7

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