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Paris - Nice 2010

Date range:
March 7-14, 2010

March 14, Stage 7: Nice - Nice 119km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer
  1. 11:49:26 CET

    Welcome back to the last stage of Paris-Nice, a nice little early afternoon romp of 119 km. If only those three Category One climbs weren't on the route, the riders might have a nice day! Not to mention the fact that our overall leader can't be at all sure of his victory yet. Let's see what happens today!

  2. 11:52:49 CET

    The first break went at km 2 – talk about an early start! It was Jens Mouris (Vacansoleil) and the prologue winner, Lars Boom of Rabobank

  3. 107km remaining from 119km

    11:56:27 CET

    The Boom-Mouris break didn't last long, as Mouris punctured and that was it. Tiago Machado (RadioShack) and Julien El Fares (Cofidis) were the next to try, but were able to stay away only 2.5 km.

  4. 11:58:22 CET

    The first intermediate sprint is coming up at km 18.5, and remember, they offer bonus seconds to the first three riders.  Will we see Valverde, perhaps, try to go for it and pick up a bit more time on Contador?

  5. 12:02:12 CET

    Short but not so sweet is how we would describe today's stage. The first of the three Cat. One climbs comes at km 51, followed by another at km. 88.5, with the last one at km 103. That gives the riders 16km to gather back together – possibly – for the final showdown on the Promenade de Anglais in Nice.

  6. 12:06:21 CET

    And here is how that sprint went:

    1. Peter Sagan (Liquigas) 3 points, 3 seconds
    2. Luis-Leon Sanchez (Caisse d’Epargne) 2 points, 2 seconds
    3. Aleksandr Kuchynski (Liquigas) 1 point, 1 second.

  7. 12:09:45 CET

    Those few seconds don't sound like much, but they were very important. The two secons for Sanchez were enough to move him up into third place overall, as he had been only one second behind Roman Kreuziger. And Sagan move up to 7th place, ahead of Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha).

  8. 12:11:06 CET

    Today is your final chance to enter the Paris-Nice podium contest! You can win a Cervelo musette bag and cap, both signed by Heinrich Haussler. All you have to do is guess today's stage podium.

    You must be a member of our forum to participate. The contest thread is here.

    If you need to join the forum, just click here and do it.

  9. 12:15:38 CET

    Here are our climbs for the day:

    Km 51.0 - Col de la Porte - 7.2 km climb to 7.2 % - Category 1
    Km 88.5 - La Turbie - 7.6 km climb to 4.8 % - Category 1
    Km 103.0 - Col d'Eze - 4.2 km climb to 6.8 % - Category 1

  10. 88km remaining from 119km

    12:20:16 CET

    There has been a crash, involving among others Jerome Pineau (Quick Step), Tony Martin (Columbia) and Chris Sorensen (Saxo Bank).

  11. 86km remaining from 119km

    12:22:40 CET

    The crash must have come into the middle of the peloton, because the field split. The first part is now catching up on two escapees, Mirko Lorenzetto (Lampre) and Laurent Didier (Saxo Bank).

    And even as we write that, those two are caught and eight others take off.

  12. 12:26:52 CET

    Three riders have now abandoned because of the crash: Martin, El Fares, and Cervelo's Daniel Lloyd.

  13. 81km remaining from 119km

    12:29:30 CET

    Vicente Garcia Acosta (Caisse d’Epargne) is the next to drop out.

    It looks as if the peloton is all together again.

  14. 12:30:34 CET

    Alessandro Spezialetti (Lampre) throw in the towel, as well.

  15. 12:32:55 CET

    In additioh to all the riders who have abandoned, we had four riders DNS today: Nikolas Maes (Quick Step), Julien Loubel (AG2R), Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil) and Greg Henderson of Team Sky, who won the first stage.

  16. 12:37:53 CET

    Alejandro Valverde saw his chance and went for it, joining a move by Albert Timmer (Skil Shimano) and Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil). You can imagine what Astana thought of that! They immediately sent out a rider to bring that too-dangerous move back.

  17. 12:41:58 CET

    We had six abandons yesterday during the stage: Jimmy Casper (Saur-Sojasun), Mikel Nieve and Koldo Fernandez de Larrae (both Euskaltel), Arnoud Gerard (Francaise des Jeux), Jürgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Andre Greipel of Team HTC-Columbia.

  18. 74km remaining from 119km

    12:49:11 CET

    Nearing the top of the day's first mountain, we have a five man break with 15 seconds: Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), Jean-Christophe Peraud (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Maxime Bouet (AG2R) and Evgeni Petrov (Katusha).

  19. 12:53:34 CET

    Alberto Contador continues to lead in the race, although his lead was cut to 14 seconds yesterday when Alejandro Valverde got six bonus seconds with his second-place stage finish.

    “It was a stage that was hard to control,” Astana manager Yvon Sanquer told Reuters. “We kept the yellow jersey, it was tense but at the end of the day, it was a good stage for us.”

  20. 12:57:18 CET

    Things are happening fast and furious now. Chavanel and Peraud managed to drop the others and continue on, but Astana gave chase and caught them before the top of the mountain.

    The next to go were David Lopez Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne), Amael Moinard and Thomas Voeckler (Bbox).

    And Astana's Benjamin Noval has abandoned.

  21. 13:01:55 CET

    Bernard Hinault had his usual words of wisdom on, and praised Caisse d'Epargne's tactics from yesterday. “They did not really expose themselves and yet they are a little bit closer thanks to Valverde, who collected a few seconds with his second place. It’s rather cunningly played as they moved all the pressure to the last stage today. With two riders in contention, they can attack each at a time to try and upset Contador and it’s perhaps the only way to do it. Recent years have shown that Paris-Nice can be won by the slimmest margins. It is not over yet.”

  22. 68km remaining from 119km

    13:05:40 CET

    And they are finally over the top. Here is how it went.

    1. Thomas Voeckler (Bbox) 10 points
    2. Amael Moinard (Cofidfis) 8 points
    3. Reine Taaramae (Cofidis) 6 pts
    4. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) 4
    5. Alberto Contador (Astana) 3
    6. Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank) 2

  23. 62.4km remaining from 119km

    13:07:37 CET

    Voeckler and Moinard have a minimal lead over the peloton, about 13 seconds.

  24. 13:10:00 CET

    Roelandts told the belgian Sportwereld website that he dropped out of the race due to back problems. "I have lower back problems the last two days. . I think it is because of the long transfer by car we had to do Thursday evening,” he said. “I could of course ride Sunday, but for whom and for what?”

  25. 54km remaining from 119km

    13:18:04 CET

    Christophe Riblon of AG2R has taken off in pursuit of the two leaders. Voeckler and Moinard now have 30 seconds on him, with the peloton 10 seconds behind Riblon.

  26. 51km remaining from 119km

    13:21:32 CET

    Looks like the peloton is content to let these three go. The gaps have picked up, with the two leaders having 1:30 over the field.

  27. 13:25:16 CET

    RadioShack's Alain Gallopin was satisfied with Saturday's stage, noting they had two riders in the break, Tiago Machado and Levi Leipheimer. “Machado worked hard but Levi is not quite ‘Super Levi’ yet. Still they did a good job,” he said.

  28. 13:30:21 CET

    The two leaders have now complete the descent of the first mountain and are ready to take on the ascent of the second mountain.

  29. 42km remaining from 119km

    13:32:03 CET

    Riblon has realized he won't catch the two in front and has decided to wait for the peloton.

  30. 13:35:24 CET

    Let's take a final look at who is leading which category. Contador is in the yellow jersey with the overall lead, 14 seconds over Valverde and 25 seconds ahead of Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas).

  31. 37km remaining from 119km

    13:40:23 CET

    Voeckler and Moinard are now on their way up Le Turbie.

  32. 13:43:11 CET

    Peter Sagan (Liquigas) leads the points classification, over Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) and Valverde.

  33. 13:45:21 CET

    Amael Moinard (Cofidis) has a large lead in the mountain ranking, with 47 points. Second is Laurent Mangel (Saur-Sojasun) with 18 and third is Damiano Cunego with 17 points.

    Moinard cemented that lead by coming over the day's first climb as second behind Voeckler.

  34. 32km remaining from 119km

    13:48:15 CET

    Voeckler and Moinard approach the second mountain ranking with a 2:42 lead over the peloton.

  35. 13:55:13 CET

    Kreuziger is best young rider, with Sagan second and Reine Taaramae (Cofidis) third.

  36. 28km remaining from 119km

    13:58:22 CET

    Only 28 km to go, and the gap is slowly coming down.

  37. 14:00:25 CET

    We have beautiful sunshine again today, and our two leaders are really flying along.

  38. 24km remaining from 119km

    14:01:32 CET

    The gap continues to fall, and is now under two minutes.

  39. 14:02:22 CET

    Here's how they came over the second climb:

    1. Moinard 10 pts
    2. Voeckler 8
    3. Mathieu Perget (Caisse d’Epargne) 6
    4. Dimitri Foronov (Astana) 4
    5. Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) 3
    6. Evgeni Petrov (Katusha) 2
    7. Reine Taaramae (Cofidis) 1

  40. 14:03:28 CET

    The peloton is flying along in single file.

  41. 14:05:49 CET

    Cervelo didn't sign Xavier Tondo until December. Was it worth it? Well, with a stage win like yesterday's, we would have to say yes. So do Tondo and Cervelo.

  42. 18km remaining from 119km

    14:06:40 CET

    The peloton turns off the main road and starts heading up the next climb.  Up ahead, Voeckler starts to pull away from Moinard.

  43. 14:07:08 CET

    Voeckler definitely pulls away from the King of the Mountains now.

  44. 14:08:48 CET

    Voeckler is riding quite easily away.  The gap back to the field is now 1.25.

  45. 14:09:33 CET

    The pace is high enough that the peloton is dropping a number of riders.

  46. 14:10:44 CET

    Sagan is one of those who has been dropped.  A teammate is leading him -- and half a dozen others -- in an attempt to get back in the main group.

  47. 14:11:29 CET

    Three riders attack out of the peloton.  Contador goes after them, as does Valverde.

  48. 14:12:14 CET

    Voeckler and Moinard are together again.

  49. 14:13:00 CET

    We now have a chase group of five, led by Contador.  Valverde and a Caisse d'Epargne teammate are also in it.  They have only a miminal lead over the field.

  50. 103km remaining from 119km

    14:14:00 CET

    Contador, Valverde and a third rider have now pulled away. Contador continues to lead, and the gap is down to 50 seconds.

  51. 14:15:03 CET

    LL Sanchez and Taaramae give chase.

  52. 15.8km remaining from 119km

    14:16:18 CET

    The chase trio is Contador, J. Rodriguez (Katusha) and Valverde.

  53. 14:17:21 CET

    Contador's group will catch the two leaders very soon now.

  54. 14:18:44 CET

    Valverde moves into the lead now.  Will he try to take off?

  55. 14:19:14 CET

    Contador didn't like that at all and takes the lead back.   He picks up the speed, and Rodriguez falls back slightly.

  56. 14:20:40 CET

    Sanchez has managed to drop Taaramae on the descent.

  57. 14:22:27 CET

    Sanchez has now caught the Contador group, and Taarame is trying to get them.

  58. 14:24:15 CET

    Only 15 seconds now.  Taaramae has now caught the Contador group., and a larger group has come up from behind as well.

  59. 14:24:00 CET

    Rodriguez attacks, but doesn't get away. Now a Caisse rider goes.

  60. 14:26:48 CET

    We have flurries of attacks, but Contador  is keeping hold of things.

    Crash.  Le Mevel has gone down, and looks to be injured.

  61. 14:27:00 CET

    Still 15 seconds for our two leaders.  The first chase group contains all the favourites, including S. Sanchez and Voigt.

  62. 14:28:00 CET

    It is a RadioShack rider with a slight lead, maybe Machado?

  63. 2.5km remaining from 119km

    14:29:29 CET

    Thirteen seconds now.

  64. 1.9km remaining from 119km

    14:30:29 CET

    Machado  and LL Sanchez have only a slight lead over the Contador group.

  65. 1km remaining from 119km

    14:31:14 CET

    Sanchez and Machado have pulled away from the Contador group, as the two leaders hit the last km.

  66. 14:32:00 CET

    Voeckler and Moinard are determined to save their day and sprint for the win, with the field rapidly approaching.

  67. 14:32:34 CET

    Moinard noses out Voeckler, with the peloton crossing the finish line two seconds later!

  68. 14:33:30 CET

    Third place goes to Valverde -- but the time bonuses aren't enough!  Alberto Contador of Team Astana has won Paris-Nice.

  69. 14:34:24 CET

    Nicolas Roche takes fourth on the stage, with Taaramae fifth.

  70. 14:34:49 CET

    Sorry, the chasing field was three seconds back, not two.

  71. 14:35:19 CET

    Another large group comes over the finish line, 2:47 down.

  72. 14:38:51 CET

    Here is our final podium for Paris-Nice 2010:

    Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana
    2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne at .11
    3 Luis-Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne at .25

  73. 14:39:00 CET

    Congratulations to Moinard and Contador on their victories today. 

    And thanks for reading along.  We will be back again next weekend with Milano-Sanremo, so join us then!