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Paris - Nice 2010

Date range:
March 7-14, 2010

March 13, Stage 6: Peynier - Tourrettes-sur-Loup 220km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer
  1. 13:45:24 CET

    Welcome back to our live coverage of Paris-Nice. We have mountains today! You want climbs? We got 'em! Eight in all, finishing off with a long Category One climb near the end of the stage. Jump aboard and let's see what happens today.

  2. 13:47:38 CET

    We have a group of 23 riders in th lead right now: Amael Moinard (Cofidis), Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack), Damiano Cunego (Lampre), Sebastien Turgot (Bbox), Cyril Gautier (Bbox), Dimitri Champion (AG2R), Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha), Mathieu Perget (Caisse d’Epargne), Chris Sorensen (Saxo Bank), Dimitri Fofonov (Astana), Kevin Seeldrayers (Quick Step), Tony Martin (Columbia), Sandy Casar (FDJeux), Tiago Machado (RadioShack), Mikael Cherel (FDJeux), Cyril Dessel (AG2R), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), Maxime Monfort (Columbia), Xavier Tondo (Omega Pharma Lotto), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega Pharma Lotto), Romain Sicard (Euskaltel), Eduard Vorganov (Katusha), Steve Cummings (Sky), Simon Geschke (Skil Shimano). They have 1:50 over the peloton.

  3. 13:50:46 CET

    This group got away at km 40, and includes some mighty big names: Leipheimer, Cunego, T. Martin, Casar.....

  4. 149km remaining from 220km

    13:55:58 CET

    Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel) had decided to abandon and call it a day.

  5. 13:58:47 CET

    Today we see the longest stage of the whole race, 220 km, and have we mentioned there are lots of climbs along the way? We still have eight riders all within a minute of each other at the top of the GC rankings, including some mighty good climbers. Who will stand atop the podium this evening?

  6. 139km remaining from 220km

    14:03:05 CET

    The gap is now down to 1:05.  This seems like too large a group to really stay away.

  7. 14:05:47 CET

    Three riders were not at the start this morning: Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano), Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel) and Yaroslov Popovych (RadioShack).

  8. 14:08:07 CET

    And remember, we are still running our contest. Is it really so hard to predict the top three in a stage in this race? Well, apparently it is. But we keep on trying and you all keep on trying, and one day someone will get it right.

    To participate, go to our forum and in this thread give us your prediction. If you are not yet a member of the forum, you can join at this link.

    Oh, and what's in it for you? A Cervelo musette bag and cap, both signed by Heinrich Haussler, that's what!

  9. 14:10:36 CET

    Here is a run-down of our climbs today:

    Km 33.5 - Côte de Val-Rose - 1.9 km climb to 4.3 % - Category 3
    Km 38.0 - Côte de Barjols - 1.7 km climb to 4.2 % - Category 3
    Km 85.5 - Côte des Tuillières - 2.2 km climb to 8.2 % - Category 2
    Km 101.0 - Côte du Mont Méaulx - 1.7 km climb to 5.1 % - Category 3
    Km 131.5 - Côte de Tignet - 2.8 km climb to 5.1 % - Category 3
    Km 147.0 - Côte de Plascassier - 3.7 km climb to 2.1 % - Category 3
    Km 156.5 - Côte de Châteauneuf (D.3-D.2210) - 1.3 km climb to 9.5 % - Category 2
    Km 187.5 - Col de Vence - 9.7 km climb to 6.6 % - Category 1
     

  10. 14:10:58 CET

    Turgot has fallen back out of the break group and is now with Brice Feillu (Vacansoliel) who has attacked out of the peloton. The lead group is on its way up the Cote des Tuilieres.

  11. 14:12:29 CET

    We already have the first two climbs behind us. Here's the points for the first one:

    Cote de Val Rose (3rd cat, km 38):
    1. Yannick Talabardon (Saur Sojasun) 4 points
    2. Daniele Righi (Lampre) 2
    3. Craig Lewis (Columbia) 1

  12. 14:13:58 CET

    And the second one:

    Cote de Barjols (3rd cat, km 38)
    1. Tony Martin (Columbia) 4 points
    2. Simon Geschke (Skil Shimano) 2
    3. Damiano Cunego (Lampre) 1

  13. 131km remaining from 220km

    14:15:14 CET

    The gap is now back up to 1:58. That means that the "virtual" yellow jersey is now with Sylvain Chavanel of Quick Step.  He came into this stage 1:27 behind leader Alberto Contador.

  14. 14:17:35 CET

    The intermediate sprint at km 74 went this way:

    1. Chavanel 3 points, 3 secs
    2. Machado 2 pt, 2 secs
    3. Tondo 1 pt, 1 sec.

  15. 14:18:55 CET

    And the third climb of the day went this way:

    Cote des Tuilieres (2nd cat, km 85.5)
    1. Moinard 7 points
    2. Chavanel 5
    3. Perget 3
    4. Monfort 2
    5. Gautier 1

  16. 14:21:21 CET

    What a stage yesterday. Now let's be honest – would anyone really be surprised if Peter Sagan wins again today?

  17. 124.5km remaining from 220km

    14:23:56 CET

    Caisse d'Epargne wants very much to win this race, and has really done everything they can to accomplish that goal. At the moment they have two riders near the top: Valverde as second and Luis-Leon Sanchez as fourth.

    They have only one problem: Alberto Contador. “I think he has really good chances of winning now,” Sanchez told Cyclingnews.

    The gap is down to 1:35 now.

  18. 14:27:24 CET

    Going into today's stage, 18 riders have left the race, from 14 different teams. That means four teams have lost two riders each: HTC-Columbia, Cervelo TestTeam, RadioShack and Lampre-Farnese.

  19. 14:31:21 CET

    Christophe Le Mevel of Francaise des Jeux is using Paris-Nice to measure himself against Alberto Contador, especially in the mountains. "I knew it might be a bit suicidal to do this with Contador, but this way I was able to understand his accelerations and what I have to do to keep up," he told Cyclingnews. You can read the rest of the story here.

  20. 14:34:06 CET

    Half of today's climbs have now been conquered. Here's how number four went:

    Cote du Mont Meaulx (3rd cat, km 101)
    1. Moinard 4 points
    2. Leipheimer 2
    3. Gautier 1

  21. 14:37:41 CET

    We have two birthday boys in the peloton today. Tom Danielson of Garmin runs 32, and Simon Geschke of Skil is now 24.

  22. 14:41:22 CET

    Let's take a look at all the rankings. Alberto Contador of Astana leads the GC, 20 seconds ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), with Roman Kreuziger of Liquigas another five seconds back. Two Sanchezes are right behind, Luis-Leon of Caisse d'Epargne in fourth and Samuel of Euskaltel fifth.

  23. 14:45:22 CET

    The points ranking and green jersey go of course to double stage winner Peter Sagan of Liquigas, followed by Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) and Contador.

  24. 117km remaining from 220km

    14:49:14 CET

    A Frenchman has the polka dots today. Amael Moinard of Cofidis leads that competition narrowly over two other Frenchmen, Laurent Mangel (Saur-Sojasun) and Yann Huguet (Skil-Shimano).

  25. 14:53:50 CET

    Just to remind you Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) is the best placed rider in the lead group. The Frenchman was 1:27 down on Contador at the start of today's stage. He's picked up a few bonus seconds during the stage though. last year he was on fire in this year. This time around he's strong but is perhaps saving himself for the Spring Classics.

  26. 14:56:35 CET

    Maxime Monfort (Columbia) is also in the lead group. Just so you know he's Belgian and not French and not matter how many times our editor goes up to him at Tour and asks, "What's it like to be best placed Frenchman?" his nationality isn't going to change.

  27. 14:59:37 CET

    Machado has a cheeky little dig but the lead group are back together again. Still 1:20 clear of the Contador bunch.

  28. 15:00:41 CET

    Three or four Garmin riders are now at the front of the bunch. Caisse and Astana are still leading the chase but the gap has gone out by a few more seconds.

  29. 15:03:38 CET

    Away from the racing and we're seeing some fantastic views of lac de saint cassien. Picture-postcard stuff. Lovely.

  30. 15:08:24 CET

    Anyone remember Rik Verbrugghe? Well he's  just said on tv that Chavanel is up the road for a stage win, not for gc, but his presence in the front makes a few teams work, not only Astana.

     

  31. 15:11:16 CET

    Amael Moinard (Cofidis) is leading the mountains competition and he's on the front now as the leaders climb the Côte du Mont Méaulx. He started with 21 points this morning.

  32. 15:13:53 CET

    The leaders were in fact on the Côte de Tignet and Moinard took four points ahead of Machado (2) and Van den Broeck (1)

  33. 15:14:59 CET

    The gap is now hovering at just under two minutes now.

  34. 139km remaining from 220km

    15:19:45 CET

    Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) has come in for a bit of criticism for his form in this race but his aims will come later in the year, when he'll aim to win his fourth Tour of California.

  35. 15:26:37 CET

    Astana are still leading the chase but the lead is still holding at around two minutes.

  36. 15:29:06 CET

    The lead group coming up to the Côte de Plascassier. It's a 3.7 km climb and Tiago Machado is pretty much doing all the work right now.

  37. 15:31:18 CET

    Moinard is sitting pretty in second wheel, ready to pounce and hoover up those points on offer for this third category climb

  38. 15:34:17 CET

    Moinard took the four points, Chavanel (2), Cunego (1) for that last climb.

  39. 15:36:05 CET

    Astana wont be too worried the break just yet but there are some very capable riders in the lead group and a lot of strong climbers. Some with a point to prove you could say.

  40. 15:39:52 CET

    The gap is now 2:16 and for now Astana aren't getting too much help.

  41. 15:41:29 CET

    Just to keep you updated we have a group of 23 riders up the road and two more climbs in the stage:

    Km 156.5 - Côte de Châteauneuf (D.3-D.2210) - 1.3 km climb to 9.5 % - Category 2
    Km 187.5 - Col de Vence - 9.7 km climb to 6.6 % - Category 1

  42. 15:45:15 CET

    Thanks to Dan Benson for taking over the live report for an hour.

  43. 62km remaining from 220km

    15:48:20 CET

    Andre Greipel is back among the team cars. Back for a visit or has he fallen off the back of the field?

  44. 15:50:18 CET

    Rein Taaramae of Cofidis is the French team's captain here in the race. His DS says the 23-year-old is on the right track but keeps making some youthful mistakes.

  45. 56km remaining from 220km

    15:52:21 CET

    We have had yet another mountain, and the results were Moinard, Cunego, Machado, Casar, and Leipheimer.

  46. 15:53:23 CET

    Who is leading the chase?  Who else but Caisse d'Epargne?

  47. 15:54:51 CET

    Remember Lars Boom? Young Rabobank neo-pro who wore the leader's jersey for three days? Yes, that Lars Boom. He's still around, you know, and in fact was the best Rabo finisher yesterday, finishing two seconds down in 16th place. He is down in 73rd place overall, 11:41 down.

  48. 15:56:41 CET

    Today's Tirreno-Adriatico stage has been shortened from 243km to 216km, due to road problems following rain.

  49. 15:57:38 CET

    Or is that tomorrow's stage which has been shortened in T-A? We will find out.

  50. 53km remaining from 220km

    15:58:17 CET

    RadioShack is leading the break group now. The gap has fallen to 1:49

  51. 15:59:12 CET

    It is indeed tomorrow's stage which will be 216km.  Today's is still 243km.  We are glad we are not riding in that race.

  52. 16:00:25 CET

    It won't be long now until we have our category one mountain. 

  53. 16:03:42 CET

    Some beautiful scenery here, and more importantly, sunshine and no snow!

  54. 16:04:51 CET

    Seems strange to see the riders without long sleeves and leggings.  Can it be that spring is really arriving?

  55. 16:05:49 CET

    The front line of the chasing peloton is black (Caisse d'Epargne), followed by a wave of blue (Astana).

  56. 46km remaining from 220km

    16:07:23 CET

    Tony Martin leads the way over the finish line for the first time.  Unfortunately for him, they still have a lap of the circuit course to go.

  57. 16:08:13 CET

    And that lap includes the Category One climb, Col de Vence.

  58. 16:09:00 CET

    AStana leads the pack over the finish line, 1:53 later.

  59. 16:11:06 CET

    The peloton is strung out single file as they fly along in chase.

  60. 16:14:24 CET

    Crash.  Four or five runners down, including several who are very slow to get up. Sky's Cioni is lying in the middle of the road.

  61. 16:14:54 CET

    Le Mevel is also slow to get going.  At least Cioni is up again.

  62. 16:16:34 CET

    Anthony Geslin and Christian Vande Velde were the other two who went down. 

  63. 16:17:26 CET

    Contador is currently in sixth place in the chasing field, which is being led by -- you guessed it, Caisse d'Epargne.

  64. 16:18:42 CET

    Two RadioShacks and a Cervelo at the front of the break gropu.  Still hanging in there at 1:40.

  65. 16:20:38 CET

    By the way, it looks like all the riders who were in that crash are up and going again.  FdJ is now doing its best to bring Le Mevel back up to the peloton.

  66. 16:22:51 CET

    The lead group has split.  A cervelo rider, a Lampre and someone in blue are now pulling away.  A number of riders have dropped off, including Tony Martin.

  67. 16:24:12 CET

    Kolobnev and Chavanel are chasing the three in front.

  68. 16:25:21 CET

    Moinard, the King of the MOuntains, is not only out of the lead group but also off the back of the peloton.

  69. 16:26:01 CET

    The peloton is now gathering in the riders from the former break group, one by one.  Machado is the next to be gobbled up.

  70. 36km remaining from 220km

    16:27:20 CET

    Our three leaders are Xavier Tondo (Cervelo), Cyril Gautier (BBox) and Damiano Cunego (Lampre).
     

  71. 16:28:47 CET

    Contador is now up out of the saddle as they all climb.

  72. 16:29:31 CET

    It looks like Tondo is pulling away from his two companions.

  73. 16:29:56 CET

    He only has 5 or 6 metres at the moment, but still......

  74. 16:31:36 CET

    The former break group is really splittered now. The last and largest group of it is about to be taken over by the peloton.

  75. 34km remaining from 220km

    16:32:22 CET

    Tondo keeps on going on his own.  He has definitely shed his two former companions now.

  76. 16:32:43 CET

    The group with Monfort and Leipheimer is about to be caught.

  77. 16:36:28 CET

     A mechanical for Sagan is quickly fixed.

  78. 16:38:20 CET

    Euskaltel now leads the peloton as they absorb the next group of former break riders.

  79. 16:38:47 CET

    Leipheimer has fallen off the back of the peloton now.

  80. 29km remaining from 220km

    16:40:43 CET

    They are nearing the top of the mountain now.

  81. 16:42:03 CET

    Actually, they have already gone over the top -- so to speak.  And in this order:  Tondo, Cunego, Gautier, Intxauti, and S. Sanchez.

  82. 16:43:54 CET

    Defending Tirreno-Adriatico winner Michele Scarponi (Androni Giocattoli) won today's stage in Italy and has taken the overall lead.

  83. 16:45:21 CET

    Tondo has a comfrotable 15 second lead over Cunego.  Is that enough?  Can he hold on to that for another 26 km?

  84. 16:46:58 CET

    The Garmin rider who went down was Christian Meier, not Christian Vande Velde.  The rider is fine, but the bike may not recover.

  85. 16:47:50 CET

    We suspect that the time gaps we have been given are not right.  Tondo is waaaaaaaay ahead of Cunego, and Gautier is now in the peloton.

  86. 16:49:07 CET

    Tondo is hunched over the handlebars in an aerodynamic tuck as he descends.

  87. 16:50:06 CET

    A Sky rider, Cummings, has stocked up on water bottles and is working his way back to the peloton.

  88. 16:50:53 CET

    We don't usually comment on the kit, but must say we must still get used to the skin-coloured shorts for AG2R.

     

    And Chavanel drops off the back of the peloton.

  89. 16:53:06 CET

    Tondo still has those alleged 15 seconds on Cungeo, with the peloton at 1:20.

  90. 16:54:36 CET

    Now the whole field is flying down this narrow road on the descent.

  91. 16:55:17 CET

    And they all successfully negotiate a series of steep and difficult curves.

  92. 16:56:22 CET

    17 km to go, and a gap of 1:00 from Tondo to the field.

  93. 16:58:02 CET

    A mechanical for Millar.  Hope that doesn't jeopardize his top placing.

  94. 16:59:36 CET

    Tondo was second overall in the Vuelta a Burgos last year, finishing behind Valverde.

  95. 13km remaining from 220km

    17:01:34 CET

    Tondo also won a stage of the Tour de San Luis last year. He was on that La MSS team that imploded after the Portuguese authorities raided their storage facility and allegedly found illegal substances. Last year he was with Andalucia Cajasur.

     

    His lead has now fallen to only 45 seconds.

  96. 17:02:13 CET

    The climb was too far away from the finish.  It doesn't look as if Tondo will be able stay away.

  97. 17:03:15 CET

    Tondo has 27 seconds over Cunego, with the peloton at 0:40.

  98. 17:06:35 CET

    The lead is shrinking, and Cunego will be caught any second now.

  99. 17:06:58 CET

    van den Broek has fallen off the back as Cunego is passed by the field.

  100. 17:07:29 CET

    Cunego lets them go and doesn't try to stay with them now.

  101. 17:08:19 CET

    When we say "peloton", we are speaking comparatively, of course.  It is now the whole peloton, but 40-50 riders or so.

  102. 6km remaining from 220km

    17:09:01 CET

    And still Caisse d'Epargne leading the chse, with Contador tucked in fifth position.

  103. 17:09:29 CET

    Tondo's lead is melting away, down to 20 seconds now.

  104. 17:10:24 CET

    Chris Horner of Radio Shack and someone from AG2R have pulled slightly away from the group.  Now they are caught again.

  105. 17:10:58 CET

    Attack!  But who?

  106. 17:11:36 CET

    Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) take off in pursuit of Tondo.

  107. 17:12:09 CET

    They are joined by a handful of other riders, and now an Astana rider and a Bbox rider are next to go.

  108. 17:13:04 CET

    They are cuaght again.  We have a group of five riders, then two, then the Yellow Jersey group. All reasonably close together.

  109. 17:13:45 CET

    The group of seven has come together to give chase.

  110. 2.5km remaining from 220km

    17:14:20 CET

    Chavnael, Fofonov -- those are two of the seven.

  111. 17:14:46 CET

    Tondo hangs to to a 14 second lead, with the Contador group at 25 seconds.

  112. 17:15:24 CET

    The chase group is not organized and doesn't work togehter.  The Contador group is really not far behind.

  113. 17:15:54 CET

    The chase group is caught.

  114. 17:16:41 CET

    Three more riders try to get away, but spend too much time looking back over their shoulders.  Things are looking good for Tondo....

  115. 17:17:14 CET

    Taaramae is the next to attack.

  116. 17:17:53 CET

    It looks like it is enough for Tondo!

     

  117. 17:18:33 CET

    He raises his arm in victory as he crosses the finish line five seconds ahead of the onrushing field.

  118. 17:18:52 CET

    Valverde was second across the line.

  119. 17:20:04 CET

    Who was third?  None other than Peter Sagan!

  120. 17:20:40 CET

    Samuel Sanchez was fourth,with J. Rodriguez fifth.  All in the same time, five seconds down.

  121. 17:21:31 CET

    Our top five on the stage:

    1. Xavier Tondo (Spain, Cervelo)
    2. Alejandro Valverde (Spain, Caisse d’Epargne)
    3. Peter Sagan (Slovakia, Liquigas)
    4. Samuel Sanchez (Spain, Euskaltel)
    5. Joaqsuin Rodriguez (Spain, Katusha)

  122. 17:22:26 CET

    Looks like no changes at the top of the GC: Contador still leads over Valverde and Kreuziger.

  123. 17:24:10 CET

    Well, this race is proving to be one of those where you never know what is going to happen!  Tondo got away nicely, but it was nip and tuck as to whether he would be able to hold that lead to the end. 

  124. 17:24:59 CET

    Congratulations to him and his team.  That's it for today.  Join us again tomorrow for the closing stage, when we see who we will crown as the new Paris-Nice champion.