Friday March 14th, 2014

Stage 6Saint-Saturnin-lès-Avignon / Fayence

Start 10h35 (Local time)

Key moments

Stage summary14.03.2014 in 16:14Betancur in pole position for the final weekend

Carlos Betancur(ALM)  emerged as the clear favourite to win the 72nd edition of Paris-Nice after his second back-to-back stage victory in Fayence, handing him the race leader's yellow jersey at the expense of Geraint Thomas (SKY) on Friday.

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interview14.03.2014 in 17:14Betancur - "I'm a very ambitious rider"

"I knew it was going to be long day, with a lot of kilometres, but that the finale suited me. My AG2R team were very cohesive and this is the result of their great work. It would have been difficult to do better than we did today.
I think Geraint Thomas remains one of my most dangerous rivals as well as Nibali but AG2R are among the best teams to help me in the mountains and to defend the yellow jersey.  
(Former Italian pro) Michele Bartoli is like a father for me, I live one...

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Sporting stakes13.03.2014 in 16:48To make history again?

Fayence remains famous in the history of Paris-Nice for Alberto Contador's spectacular faltering in the 2009 edition but Friday's sixth stage, the longest this year at 221.5 km, has all it takes to make history. The general classification could hardly be tighter with 20 riders inside 20 seconds and the terrain is probably the most favourable this year for attacks and chances to take time. Geraint Thomas was fearing for his yellow jersey in yesterday's stage, thinking that sprinters like John...

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15:53Top five overall standings

Top five overall standings after the 221.5-kms 6th stage:

1. Carlos Betancur (Colombia, ALM)

2. Geraint Thomas (Britain, SKY) 8 seconds behind

3. Alberto Rui Costa (Portugal, LAM) 18 secs

4. Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic, OPQ) 22 secs

5. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spain, MOV) 24 secs

15:49Top five placings

Top five placings in the 221.5-km 6th stage of Paris-Nice between St Saturnin-les-Avingon and Fayence.

1. Carlos Betancur (Colombia, ALM)

2. Alberto Rui Costa (Portugal, LAM)

3. Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic, OPQ)

4. Geraint Thomas (Britain, SKY)

5. Arthur Vichot (France, FDJ)

15:47Betancur wins stage 6

Colombia's Carlos Betancur (ALM) wo, the 221.5-km 6th stage of Paris-Nice. Rui Costa (LAM) was second, Zdenek Stybar (OPQ) was third ahead of Geraint Thomas (SKY).

15:46Costa attacks

Rui-Costa attacks in the finale.

15:45Nibali dropped

Vincenzo Nibali (AST) cracked in the last kilometre and is dropped.

15:44Vichot atatcks in turn

French champion Arthur Vichot (FDJ) counter-atacks behind Vuillermoz.

15:43Vuillermoz attacks

One kilometre to go and Alexis Vuillermoz (ALM) went on his own in the last climb.

15:42AG2R take over

AG2R now seize the lead of the peloton with two kilometres to go. Wilco Kelderman (BEL), 8th overall, has been dropped on a puncture.

15:41Thomas plays it safe

Three kilometres to go and Geraint Thomas (SKY) is safely in the wheel of team-mate David Lopez, who leads the peloton.

15:39Spilak attacks

Four kilometres to go and Simon Spilak (KAT) attacks. He is caught by a jittery Nibali, and then by the peloton.

15:376 kms to go...

... and Nibali brings the peloton back on Caruso and Devenyns. Geraint Thomas (SKY) stays in Nibaly's wheel.

15:35Nibali attacks in the descent

Km 214 - Vincenzo Nibali (AST) moved away from the pack in the descent.

15:3210 kms to go...

... and Damiano Caruso (CAN) and Dries Devenyns (GIA) are now in the front, leading the chasing bunch by 12 seconds.

15:28The six caught

Km 207 - The six escapees have been caught by the main pack.

15:27Results in Col de Bourigaille

Km 202.5 - Col de Bourigaille (1st cat)

1. Stephan Denifl (IAM) 10 points

2.  Alexis Vuillermoz (ALM)  8 points

3.  Frank Schleck (TFR)  6 points

4.   Przemyslaw Niemec (LAM) 4 points

5.   Yuri Trofimov (KAT) 3 points

6.   Eduardo Sepulveda (BSE) 2 points

7.   David Lopez (SKY) 1 point  12 seconds behind

15:23Six in the lead

Eduardo Sepulvea (BSE), Yury Trofimov (KAT) and Przemyslaw Niemec (LAM)caught Frank Schleck (TFR), Stephan Denifl (IAM) and Alexis Vuillermoz (ALM) in the lead.

15:2020 kms to go...

... and three men are now in the lead: Frank Schleck (TFR), Stephan Denifl (IAM) and Alexis Vuillermoz (ALM).

15:17Break over

km 200 - Vuillemoz (ALM) and Serpa (LAM) were first caught by Matthias Frank (IAM) then by the rest of the peloton. Andy Schleck (TFR) and Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) are among the riders currently dropped.

15:12Two in the lead

Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) has been caught and dropped by  Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R) and Jose Serpa (LAM).

15:10Degenkolb among those dropped

Km 195 - Green jersey holder John Degenkolb (GIA), second overall, is among the riders dropped in the ascent of Col de Bourigaille.

15:08Chavanel leads the way

Chavanel is now alone in the lead ahead of De Marchi after Voeckler and Ligthart ware dropped.

15:06Voeckler leads

Thomas Voeckler (EUC) leads his three breakaway companions into Col de Bourigaille, with a 12 seconds lead over the chasing peloton.

15:03Result of the sprint in Fayence

Km 193 - Fayence

1. Alessandro de Marchi (CAN)

2. Thomas Voeckler (EUC)

3. Pim Ligthart (LTB)

Peloton 30 seconds behind.

14:59Four in the lead

Km 189 - As the leading group scattered, Sylvain Chavanel (IAM), Thomas Vocekler (EUC), Alessandro de Marchi (CAN) and Pim Ligthart (OPQ) are now the only four riders left in the lead.

14:56Bernaudeau dropped from break

Giovanni Bernaudeau (EUC) was dropped from the leading group. Only 11 riders in the lead now, with a 28 seconds lead over the peloton.

14:53Gap down to 38 seconds

Km 184 - Led by Team Sky's David Lopez and Edvald Boasson-Hagen, the peloton is now only 35 seconds behind the 12 escapees.

14:46Results on Cote du Mont-Meaulx

Km 180 - Cote du Mont-Meaulx (3rd cat)

1. Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) 4 points

2. Pim Ligthart (LTB) 2 points

3. Thomas Voeckler (EUC) 1 point

Peloton 50 seconds behind.

14:39AG2R lead the chase

Km 172 - The AG2R team-mates of stage 5 winner Carlos Betancur lead the chase, 1:10 behind the 12 escapees.

14:34Twleve in the lead

Km 169 - Chavanel and Voeckler joined the break. Twelve riders now in the lead.

14:28Results on Cote ds Tuilieres

Km 164.5 - Cote des Tuilieres (2nd cat)

1. Pim Ligthart (LTB  7 points

2. Jens Keukeliere (OGE) 5 points

3. Giovanni Bernaudeau (EUC) 3 points

4.  Stephen Cummings (BMC) 2 points

5. Aleksandr Kuchysnki (KAT) 1 point

Chavanel and Voeckler 25 seconds behind
The peloton 1:00 behind.

14:23Chavanel and Voeckler nearing

Km 163.5 - One kilometre from the top of Cote des Tuilieres, Chavanel and Voeckler are 25 seconds behind the break. The main pack at 1:05.

14:21Chavanel and Voeckler counter-attack

Km 162 - Frenchmen Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) and Thomas Voeckler (EUC) surged from the peloton to chase behind the break.

14:17Astana lead the chase

Km 160 - Six Astana riders are leading the peloton, trailing the ten escapees by 1:30.

14:14The break in Cote des Tuilieres

Km 159 - The ten escapees tackle the second category Cote des Tuilieres with a 1:45 lead over the peloton.

14:12The race in Draguignan

The race is in Draguignan (km 158), home to eight Paris-Nice stage finishes and the traditional finish of the Tour du Haut-Var. The three last Paris-Nice stages held in town were won by Belgians, Freddy Maertens, Patrick Sercu and Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke.

14:02Gap down to 2:10

Km 147 - Stephen Cummings (BMC), Jens Keukeleire (OGE), Mattia Cattaneo (LAM),  Pim Ligthart (LTB), Giovanni Bernaudeau (EUC), Gregory Rast (TFR), Aleksandr Kuchynski (KAT), Adrien Petit (COF), Alessandro De Marchi (CAN) and Florian Vachon (BSE) now lead the peloton by 2:10.

14:00Thierry Bricaud (FDJ): Arthur loves this course

Interviewed by, team director Thierry Bricaud talked about the tactics for French champion Arthur Vichot, currently 11th overall,  at the end of the stage.  
"Today, obviously, it's everything for Arthur. He had good legs yesterday and I hope it will be the same again today. I'm expecting a serious trimming in Col de Bourigaille and that is when we'll know who's doing well. Then the big battle will take place in the Fayence climb and if he's in good shape, he...

13:36Average speed 43.6 kph

The average speed in the third hour of the stage was 40.4 kph. The overall average speed was 43.6 kph.

13:29Guiberteau (GIA) - Fayence is too hard for John

Asked whether John Degenkolb had a chance to stay with the best in the finale, Giant Shimano team director Christian Guiberteau was not optimistic: "No, it's too hard. And I'm afraid he will already be dropped in Bourigaille," he told 

13:11Gap down to 2:38

Km 113 - The lead of Stephen Cummings (BMC), Jens Keukeleire (OGE), Mattia Cattaneo (LAM),  Pim Ligthart (LTB), Giovanni Bernaudeau (EUC), Gregory Rast (TFR), Aleksandr Kuchynski (KAT), Adrien Petit (COF), Alessandro De Marchi (CAN) and Florian Vachon (BSE) is down to 2:38.

13:01Kump gave up

Marko Kump (TCS) has given up.

12:50Gap up to 3:05

Km 98 - The ten lead the peloton by 3:05.

12:49Kuekeleire the best-placed

Jens Keukeleire (OGE) is the best placed of the 10 escapees: 23rd, 25 seconds behind Geraint Thomas.

12:38Gap up to 2:55

Km 90 - Stephen Cummings (BMC), Jens Keukeleire (OGE), Mattia Cattaneo (LAM),  Pim Ligthart (LTB), Giovanni Bernaudeau (EUC), Gregory Rast (TFR), Aleksandr Kuchynski (KAT), Adrien Petit (COF), Alessandro De Marchi (CAN) and Florian Vachon (BSE) now lead the peloton by 2:55.

12:35Average speed 45.2 kph

The average speed in the second hour of the stage was 44.1 kph for an overall speed of 45.25 kph.

12:23Gap to 2:45

The gap between the peloton and Stephen Cummings (BMC), Jens Keukeleire (OGE), Mattia Cattaneo (LAM),  Pim Ligthart (LTB), Giovanni Bernaudeau (EUC), Gregory Rast (TFR), Aleksandr Kuchynski (KAT), Adrien Petit (COF), Alessandro De Marchi (CAN) and Florian Vachon (BSE) is now 2:45.

12:22Betancur on familiar terrain

Stage 5 winner Carlos Betancur (ALM) knows the profile of this stage well. In the last Tour du Haut Var, which he won, he finished second in a similar stage to Draguignan behind Amael Moinard (BMC). The stage also comprised the Col de Bourigaille and the Cote des Tuilieres, the main two ascents in today's stage.

12:10Gasporotto chases alone

Enrico Gasparotto (AST) is chasing on his own behind the ten escapees.

12:08Gap 2:25

The ten riders now lead the peloton by 2:25.

12:07The ten in the lead

The ten riders in the lead are Stephen Cummings (BMC), Jens Keukeleire (OGE), Mattia Cattaneo (LAM), Pim Ligthart (LTB), Giovanni Bernaudeau (EUC), Gregory Rast (TFR), Aleksandr Kuchynski (KAT), Adrien Petit (COF), Allessandro De Marchi (CAN) and Florian Vachon (BSE).

12:01Hectic pace

Km 69 - Ten riders again try their luck as the pace in the peloton is hectic.

11:42Moinard in the front

Km 52 - Amael Moinard (BMC) attacked briefly but was run down. The Frenchman knows the course well, having won a stage of the Tour du Haut-Var on the same terrain recently.

11:39Degenkolb now one second behind Thomas

Thanks to the two seconds bagged in the intermediate sprint in Lourmarin (km 46.5), John Degenkolb (GIA) is now one second behind Geraint Thomas (SKY) in the general classification.

11:38Average speed 46.4 kph

The average speed in the first hour of the stage is 46.4 kph.

11:37Result of the sprint in Lourmarin

Km 45.5 - Lourmarin

1. Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) three seconds, three points

2. John Degenkolb (GIA), 2 seconds, 2 points

3. Zdenek Stybar (OPQ), 1 second, 1 point


Km 46 - Chavanel stop his effort and waits for the bunch.

11:24Results on Cote de Bonnieux

Km 36.5 - Cote de Bonnieux (3rd cat)

1.  Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) 4 points

2.  Thomas Voeckler (EUC) 2 points

3.  Michel Koch (CAN) 1point

Peloton 15 seconds behind.

11:20Three in between

Km 34 - Timmer, Koch and Yates are still between Chavanel and the peloton. The three lie 15 seconds adrift while the peloton is 23 seconds behind the plka-dot jersey holder.

11:17Chavanel on his own

Km 33 - The eight were reined in to the exception of Chavanel, who insists.

11:15The eight escapees

The eight riders in the break are Thor Hushovd (BMC), Sylvain Chavanel (IAM), Simon Yates (OGE), Gert Steegmans (OPQ), Jimmy Engoulvent (EUC), Michel Koch (CAN), Albert Timmer (GIA), Anthony Delaplace (BSE). They lead the peloton by 30 seconds (km 31.5).

11:12Eight riders move

Km 30 - Eight riders, including polka-dot jersey holder Sylvain Chavanel,attempt to break away from the main bunch.

11:08In the press today

In local paper Var Matin, former pro Vincent Barteau tells how he works as an adviser on a film shot around Paris-Nice about the last days of Tour de France winner and former Paris-Nice promoter Laurent Fignon, called "The last breakaway": "He died in front of me, surrounded by his family."
Barteau looks after Samuel Le Bihan, the actor portraying Fignon: "I had to give Samuel indications on Laurent's style. We rode a lot with the main two actors. It's really emotional to look back like...

11:03McPartland - "Simon's main goal is Milan-San Remo"

Orica Greenedge team director David McPartland told that Simon Gerrans, 72nd overall, 8:40 behind Geraint Thomas (SKY) did not have any more ambitions on this Paris-Nice and wanted to focus on his other goals ahead.  
"Simon was not 100 pc because of his illness before Paris-Nice. His main goal is Milan-San Remo so he didn't want to exaggerate and decided to avoid any trouble. He made his decision last night that it was better to withdraw."

10:52Terpstra on his own

Km 10 - Niki Tersptra (OPQ) attacked on his own but was reeled in four kilometres later.

10:47Romain Bardet - "My role is now to protect Carlos"

France's Romain Bardet (ALM) was hampered by several mishaps in yesterday's stage (crash, punctures) and is now working for stage 5 winner Carlos Betancur, hoping to help him win Paris-Nice.
"It was avery difficult day for me yesterday, but now I'm clearly motivated in my role as a team-mate for Carlos. We have a chance to win Paris-Nice. My role is now to protect Carlos in the finale and I will be here to anticipate moves. Our interest would be for a pack bunch to reach the last climb...

10:37Nine riders move

Km 2 - Nine riders attempt to part company with the peloton.

10:34Start given

The start of the 221.5-km 6th stage of Paris-Nice was given at 10:34 to 159 riders.

10:21Quotes at the start

Geraint Thomas (SKY) made it clear he "would be surprised to be in yellow tonight" given the toughness of the day's stage. Green jersey holder John Degenkolb (GIA) was in the same frame of mind, admitting that "suffering starts today" for the sprinters like him, even when they are decent climbers. By contrast, other riders more familiar with that type of hilly terrain were more ambitious. French champion Arthur Vichot, who knows the roads well after winning the Tour du Haut Var in 2013, said...

10:19Jersey holders

Geraint Thomas (SKY) retained his yellow jersey as the top three positions in the GC did not budge in Rive de Gier on stage 5. The Welshman still leads stage 3 winner John Degenkolb (GIA) by three seconds and stage 4 winner Tom-Jelte Slagter (GRS) by four. But they are now all under threat from yesterday's stage winner Carlos Betancur of Colombia (ALM) who impressed in the finale with Luxembourg champion Bob Jungels (TFR) and Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang (AST), who is now 6th, 13 seconds behind...

10:16159 at the start

159 riders are at the start. Simon Gerrans (OGE) did not start.

10:15Climbs of the day

Km 36.5 - Cote de Bonnieux (3rd cat)

Km 164.5 - Cote des Tuilieres (2nd cat)

Km 180 - Cote du Mont-Meaulx (3rd cat)

Km 202.5 - Col de Bourigaille (1st cat)

Km 221.5 - Finish in Fayence (2nd cat)

10:13Sprints of the day

Km 45.5 - Lourmarin

Km 193 - Fayence

10:07Welcome on the 6th stage

Welcome on the 221.5-km 6th stage of Paris-Nice between St Saturnin-les-Avignon and Fayence, the longest in this edition. Stay tuned to


Jersey wearers after the stage 8

Classifications after the stage 8


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