Gallopin ready to fight for Paris-Nice victory

Start times for Col d'Èze time trial

Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) put himself into the driving seat in the general classification of Paris-Nice, after taking victory in the final open stage of the race. The Frenchman attacked on the final ascent of the day the Côte de Peille, holding off the chasers on the slippery descent to win by 32 seconds.

The result put Gallopin into the yellow jersey with a 32-second advantage over Richie Porte (Team Sky) – who crashed twice during the stage – with previous race leader Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) poised to attack from third place. Not a noted time triallist, Gallopin will have a fight on his hands to defend the jersey but he’s ready to do just that.

“It’s fantastic. I came here to finish in the top 10 and now I’m in a position to win Paris-Nice,” Gallopin said after the stage. “It’s more than I could expect. But the conditions were pretty favourable. When I saw it would rain this morning, I was rather happy. I know Col d’Eze extremely well. I must have climbed it at least 20 times in training this winter. It’s not too hard a climb – it’s not exclusively for climbers.”

The final Col d’Èze time trial may only be 9.6 kilometres but the uphill race against the clock is long enough to take significant chunks out of a 32-second lead. The now traditional time trial last featured in the 2013 edition of the race where Porte was the victor on the day by 23 seconds over Andrew Talansky to take the overall race win. Mechanical problems have put Talansky out of GC contention this year but Porte is well within striking distance and should be the favourite for the overall win.

Third placed Kwiatkowski is no slouch in the time trial either, taking the victory in the opening chrono. After leading the standings for much of the race, Kwiatkowski is not giving up on the victory just yet. “This race is not over yet. A lot can happen in an uphill time trial, even if it is only 9.6 kilometers. I will try to finish strong and the race is still open,” he said.


Col d'Èze start times

4Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky12:34:00 
11Christian Meier (Can) Orica GreenEdge12:41:00 
53Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team13:23:00 
54George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-Jumbo13:24:00 
61Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team13:37:00 
67Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step13:39:00 
69Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team13:41:00 
71Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team13:42:00 
84Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing13:54:00 
91Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team14:01:00 
92Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo14:02:00 
93Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale14:03:00 
94Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits14:04:00 
95Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.fr14:05:00 
96Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling14:06:00 
97Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal14:07:00 
98Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team14:09:00 
99Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida14:11:00 
100Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha14:13:00 
101Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida14:15:00 
102Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team14:17:00 
103Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky14:19:00 
104Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step14:21:00 
105Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky14:23:00 
106Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal14:25:00 


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