Paris - Nice 2018

March 4-11, Chatou, France, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Sadhbh O'Shea

Paris-Nice race hub

Start list

Race preview

Stage 6: Mollard solos to victory

  1. 11:53:51 CET

    I'm over here! Welcome to live coverage of the penultimate day, and queen stage, of Paris-Nice. 

  2. 11:56:08 CET

    The racing is well underway in the south of France and with just over 107 kilometres to go there are eight riders with a 2:25 advantage over the peloton. 


  3. 11:59:29 CET

    It's a strong breakaway out there with Rory Sutherland (UAE), Tony Gallopin (AG2R), Alessandro de Marchi (BMC), Nicolas Roche (BMC), Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Amael Moinard (Fortuneo) and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis).


  4. 12:05:11 CET

    De Gendt was one of the riders in the breakaway yesterday, along with Amael Moinard, but the Belgian hadn't intended on getting up there. It happened after the peloton took a wrong turning and those that managed to go the right way decided to chase down the leaders. Let's hope that everybody can take the right roads today. 


  5. 12:07:34 CET

    Race radio has reported that Koen de Kort has climbed off. Bert Van Lerberghe called it quits earlier today, suffering with the injuries he sustained earlier this week when he crashed into a tree. 


  6. 12:11:56 CET

    And we have another abandon with Alexander Kristoff climbing off. He's been suffering with illness throughout the week. It's extremely cold out there so we might see a few more riders saving themselves for the Classics and so on and deciding to quit. 


  7. 12:13:15 CET

    One rider that decided not to even start the day because of the inclement weather was Arnaud Demare. He wants to keep himself healthy for Milan-San Remo next weekend. Read the full story here.


  8. 12:17:11 CET

    The riders have begun the first category ascent of the Cote de la Sainte-Baume with the leaders holding an advantage of 3:10. Meanwhile, Dan Martin looks to be in trouble as he struggles near the back of the main bunch. 


  9. 12:20:00 CET

    Wout Poels is of course not in the peloton today after he was forced to abandon due to that nasty crash he had. He broke his collarbone when his bike slipped from under him on a corner. Read the full story here.


  10. 12:23:52 CET

    Mike Teunissen becomes the next victim of the stage as he too abandons. That leaves just three riders in the Sunweb team. We've still got more than 90km to go today and three more climbs, including the summit finish. 


  11. 12:25:28 CET

    Without wanting to make this a long list of riders who have called it quits, we have another. Julien El Fares has decided that enough is enough. 


  12. 12:30:06 CET

    Perhaps they've heard about the conditions at the finish line. Australian commentator Matthew Keenan posted this image a little while ago. So much for this being the race to the sun. 


  13. 90km remaining from 175km

    12:32:38 CET

    It is such a strong breakaway out there that the peloton is taking no chances. They've cut the advantage to just 2:35. It doesn't look too likely at the moment that they'll be able to succeed. 


  14. 12:36:49 CET

    This short leash could be explained by Alessandro de Marchi's presence in the breakaway. The Italian is just 2:36 behind Luis Leon Sanchez in the overall standings and he's a renowned breakaway specialist so will take any opportunity he's given. With Roche in there to help him, he is doubly dangerous. 


  15. 12:42:54 CET

    News from over in Italy is that Tom Dumoulin has crashed out of Tirreno-Adriatico. We have contacted the team for an update on his condition and we will bring it to you when we can. Read the story here.


  16. 12:46:35 CET

    Meanwhile, Thomas De Gendt has taken the 10 points available at the top of the Cote de la Sainte-Baume. That makes him the provisional holder of the mountains classification jersey.


  17. 12:47:57 CET

    It's a day of two races today and I'm heading back to guide you through the remainder of today's Tirreno-Adriatico stage so I'll hand you over to Susan Westemeyer for the rest of stage 7 of Paris-Nice. 


  18. 82km remaining from 175km

    12:51:14 CET

     With 82 km to go, the gap is at 2:10. And many thanks to Sadhbh for doing double duty!

  19. 12:53:01 CET

     This may be the Race to the Sun, but they sure aren't finding it today. Right now it looks like heavy fog -- not really what we want on a mountain stage! 

  20. 12:55:57 CET

    And another one ..... now it is Dan Martin of UAE Team Emirates who has decided to call it quits.


  21. 13:01:22 CET

    With 75 km to go, the gap is holding at 2:35. So  far we have two climbs behind us, with three more to come -- including that lovely closing climb!


  22. 13:05:14 CET

    Herrada has been dropped from the lead group, leaving us now with only 7 up front. 


  23. 13:10:19 CET

    Olivier Le Gaq has now joined the list of those who have thrown in the towel today. Or as the race twitter puts it, "Another one out on this hellish stage."


  24. 13:16:12 CET

    132 riders finished yesterday, and we assume they all started today. However, the number of abandons today has been massive.


  25. 13:17:23 CET

    Everyone has now passed the top of the next climb, the cat. 2 Col St. Raphael, but we have not yet heard the results.


  26. 13:20:09 CET

    So of course we immediately find the results: De Gendt ahead of Sutherland, Roche, Pantano and Moinard.


  27. 13:25:02 CET

    There is snow alongside the road where the peloton is now riding. But not on the road, which is good.


  28. 13:31:17 CET

    They are about halfway down a long and not bad descent. There is another cat. 2 to climb, and an intermediate sprint before starting up the long final climb.


  29. 13:32:10 CET

    Bahrain Merida sent Manuele Boaro to the front and he has picked up the pace. The peloton has now split.


  30. 13:34:27 CET

    Race leader Sanchez is in teh first peloton group, but Tim Wellens has been caught behind in the second group. 


  31. 13:36:23 CET

    Today is definitely the Race to the Fog. Not a very catchy name, though.


  32. 13:37:49 CET

    The gap from the break group to the Sanchez group is now only 1:30. We do't know if the second peloton has joined pu or not.


  33. 13:39:32 CET

    The WEllens group (which includes Calmejane) is still some 20 seconds behind the Sanchez group.


  34. 13:42:28 CET

    Only 44 km to go. 1:12 to the Sanchez group, and the gap to the Wellens group is growing, now at 1:46.


  35. 13:44:59 CET

    Just over a minute now for the leaders, and the Wellens group is also catching up


  36. 13:45:21 CET

    Only 1 km to the top of the penultimate climb.


  37. 13:46:17 CET

    Riders are now dropping off the back of the Wellens group.


  38. 13:47:57 CET

    Bahrain Merida continues to pull the Sanchez group up the climb, followed closely by Astana. 

    A little further upwards, De Gendt once again takes the mountain points.


  39. 13:50:37 CET

    Narrow roads, not necessarily in best condition, lots of twists and turns, rain, mountains, steep drop-offs -- these are not things that make anyone happy.


  40. 37km remaining from 175km

    13:54:41 CET

    Only 50 seconds now between the first two groups. We think the third group is also about 50 seconds further back, but we don't know for sure.


  41. 13:56:04 CET

    The lead group approaches the second, and last, intermediate sprint of the day.


  42. 13:58:01 CET

    Sutherland has been dropped from the lead group.


  43. 14:00:59 CET

    33 km to go and a gap of 33 seconds. The weather still looks awful to us, but Pantano takes off his rain jacket. 

    And Sutherland is caught by the peloton.


  44. 14:03:25 CET

    The lead group has split in half now but of course as we write that, they come back together. 


  45. 14:04:17 CET

    And now the Wellens group has caught up with the peloton, so we again have a large group chasing the six leaders.


  46. 14:07:21 CET

    With 30km to go, the gap has grown back to nearly a minute. 


  47. 14:08:34 CET

    The Sanchez group and the Wellens group may have joined up again, but they still make a relatively small group. Lots of riders have been dropped along the way.


  48. 14:09:56 CET

    Someone has gone over the edge. WE dn't have any details.


  49. 14:11:14 CET

    Anotehr crash, or someone in the same crash. This is not good and we don't know who is involved. The peloton is now going downhill in slow motion.


  50. 14:11:59 CET

    Di Marchi was the one who went over. He was helped to walk back up to the road, we are happy to say.


  51. 14:12:33 CET

    WE believe that Pantano and De Gendt crashed as well, but that both are back up and going.


  52. 14:13:38 CET

    That leave Roche and Gallopin alone in the lead. The gap is 1:11. Moinard now joins them. 


  53. 14:17:02 CET

    Incredibly, Di Marchi has been able to continue. On a new bike though, since his previous one lost the saddle in his crash.


  54. 14:17:41 CET

    Dumont of AG2R hits the road next. Slick roads.....


  55. 14:19:14 CET

    Astana has moved to the front of the peloton, and has turned the speed down a notch. Safety first!


  56. 14:19:37 CET

    20.4km to go and De Gendt is caught by the field.


  57. 14:23:33 CET

    18.5km to go and 1:04. We can expect that gap to rapidly disappear once the climbing begins in 2 km.


  58. 14:25:14 CET

    BMC reports that Di Marchi has some contusions but is otherwise ok. 


  59. 14:27:20 CET

    More riders being dropped off the back of the field as they start up the climb, including Sky's Ian Stannard.


  60. 14:29:07 CET

    25 seconds from the leaders to the field. Only two up front now, as Moinard starts going backwards. 


  61. 14:30:16 CET

    We can't really call it a peloton any more. The Sanchez group is now very small. And Roche also drops from the lead. 


  62. 14:30:56 CET

    That leaves Gallopin alone in the lead, with a gap of some 30 seconds. 15 km to go.


  63. 14:33:35 CET

    Chaves dropped from the Sanchez group.


  64. 14:35:05 CET

    13 seconds now, but it looks closer. 


  65. 14:35:54 CET

    A tremendous effort by Gallopin, but his time is nearly up.


  66. 14:36:53 CET

    And with 13 km it is over for the break. 


  67. 14:37:54 CET

    Bahrain Merida and Astana still leading the way up.


  68. 14:39:27 CET

    There is pretty high pace here now.


  69. 14:40:05 CET

    Pantano was able to hang on to the field, but now is dropping off.


  70. 14:41:37 CET

    Sanchez still has 3 teammates with him. The whole group is maybe 40 riders.


  71. 14:44:09 CET

    Bora-hansgrohe's Poljanski is the next to drop from the lead group.


  72. 14:45:17 CET

    The higher they climb, the thicker the fog. 


  73. 14:46:52 CET

    Nibali is helping with the lead work. No, not that Nibali. This is the younger brother, Antonio


  74. 14:49:56 CET

    Simon Yates and Tim Wellens are still in the Sanchez group, in fact they are very close to Sanchez on the way up. 7.5km to go.


  75. 14:51:58 CET

    Bauke Mollema now drops back, can't keep up with the rest.


  76. 14:52:37 CET

    Sanchez has lost one of his helpers. 

    The road here looks very wet.


  77. 14:53:15 CET

    Mitchelton-Scott has now moved to the front of this field. 


  78. 14:54:02 CET

    More and more riders falling off the back now.  And Sanchez having problems! In fact he looks to have been dropped! 


  79. 14:55:14 CET

    It now looks like maybe 15-20 in the first group.


  80. 14:56:02 CET

    Fuglsang, Zakarin amongst those now off the back. Mitchelton -Scott strong at the front. 


  81. 14:56:51 CET

    14 in the group, if we have counted correctly. 


  82. 14:58:01 CET

    4.3km to go and Yeates jumps. Jon Izagirre goes with him.


  83. 14:58:55 CET

    Gorka Izagirre leads the chase, but the two up front have a decent gap.


  84. 15:00:50 CET

    Jon Izagirre came into the stage as 6th, 42 seconds down, with Yates at 7th and 45 seconds. 

    Sanchez now over a minute down, with the group at 14 seconds. 


  85. 15:01:39 CET

    Julian Alaphilippe (QuickStep) is in that chasing group. He came into the day 2d in GC at 22 seconds.


  86. 15:02:50 CET

    The chasing group of 10 or so is moving up. Everyone is suffering. 


  87. 15:03:38 CET

    Alaphilippe is working hard, and showing it. De la Cruz (Sky) has done much of the lead work of this group and looks to be really suffering. 


  88. 15:04:08 CET

    Alaphilippe dropped now. 


  89. 15:04:33 CET

    Only the two leaders look to have no major problems. 


  90. 15:05:37 CET

    Dylan Teuns tries to pull away from the group. Up front, Yates pulls away from Izagirre.


  91. 15:06:01 CET

    Yates takes 16 seconds in the final kilometer. 


  92. 15:06:52 CET

    Soler has also been dropped. 


  93. 15:07:29 CET

    Teuns is on the verge of catching Jon Izagirre. Yates has only 500 meters to go and ought to have this. 


  94. 15:08:42 CET

    Jon Izagirre isn't ready to give up and digs deep. Yates grins and crosses the line as first. 


  95. 15:09:28 CET

    Teuns caught J. Izagirre to take second, with the Spaniard 3d. His brother Gorka was 4th.

    This ought to make Yates the new race leader. 


  96. 15:10:59 CET

    Alaphilippe still struggling his way up.and is passed by two others at the line. He finished 2.02 down.


  97. 15:13:07 CET

    That is Yates' first win this season.


  98. 15:15:35 CET

    Top ten on the stage:

    1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 05:02:54

    2 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team 00:00:08

    3 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida

    4 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 00:00:13

    5 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal

    6 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:20

    7 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 00:00:46

    8 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team

    9 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 00:00:48

    10 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 00:00:54

  99. 15:17:39 CET

    And the new GC:

    1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 03:29:02

    2 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 00:00:11

    3 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 00:00:12

    4 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 00:00:13

    5 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team 00:00:27

    6 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 00:00:37

    7 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:39

    8 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 00:00:57

    9 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 00:01:48

    10 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:01:49

  100. 15:19:55 CET

    With only one stage left, we have our top five all within 30 seconds. We can expect some exciting action tomorrow!


  101. 15:25:53 CET

    We will have full results and our report here. 


  102. 15:38:53 CET

    Meanwhile, Tirreno-Adriaticois still going on, and you can read along with our live report. 


  103. 15:43:32 CET

    Here is Simon Yates in the yellow jersey after taking today's stage win.

  104. 15:53:21 CET

    Tim Wellens is in green following the abandon of Arnaud Demare ahead of the stage. There was no green jersey in the bunch today because of that. 


  105. 16:04:10 CET

    Thomas De Gendt is back in familiar colours after he took the mountains classification today.


  106. 16:10:03 CET

    One last photo for you. This is the dejected face of Luis Leon Sanchez after losing yellow. He did his best, but he couldn't hold on when the big climbers wound things up.


  107. 16:12:50 CET

    Astana will be ruing Fuglsang losing time earlier in the week because he has looked strong in the mountains and he looked good today. He ended up leaving Sanchez behind on the final climb when the Spaniard blew up. 


  108. 16:15:48 CET

    That is it from us today at Paris-Nice. Tune in for the final stage tomorrow and head here for the closing kilometres of stage 4 of Tirreno-Adriatico.


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