The challenging Col de la Couillole was the scene of a GC shake-up and also a bit of redemption Saturday on the seventh stage of Paris-Nice.
Richie Porte jumped clear of a select lead group three kilometres from the finish and soloed his way to the line, delivering a welcome stage victory for BMC Racing after dropping out of GC contention during a disappointing first two days of racing.
Behind Porte, the battle was on for the yellow jersey. With race-leading Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) and second-placed Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) dropped on the lower slopes of the climb, the top spot on the leaderboard was open for the taking. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) crossed the line for second behind Porte, but Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) and Sergio Henao (Team Sky) were only 11 seconds behind him.
That was good enough to put Henao into the GC lead with just one day left in the race, with Martin now second at 30 seconds back and Contador third just one second behind the Irishman.
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