Simon Yates wins Paris-Nice stage 7

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) moved into the leader’s yellow jersey at Paris-Nice, after a cold and torrid stage of climbing and descending in the Alpes Maritimes saw him solo to a lone stage win at La Colmiane.

“It was a very difficult stage,” Yates said. “There was never a straight bit of road, and it was twisting and turning on really difficult terrain. Normally, I don’t like to sit at the front, I prefer to sit back and relax, but today was one of those days that you really needed to be there."

Yates, riding his fifth Paris-Nice, made the decisive move a little more than four kilometres from the finish line on the 16-kilometre first category ascent to the remote ski station, after overnight race leader, Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) finally wilted with six kilometres left to race.

With the Spaniard out of the running, all of France had high hopes for Julian Alaphilippe, who briefly, was race leader on the road. But it was short-lived. The Frenchman, for all his efforts, was eventually cut adrift after BMC’s Dylan Teuns accelerated in pursuit of Yates and Jon Izagirre, of Bahrain-Merida.

“We started out hoping for the stage win,” Yates said, “but in the position that we were in on the overall, the GC was always a possibility. But there were a lot of guys who were ahead of me, so first we wanted the stage and then afterwards, we went for the GC. It all played out really well on the final climb, and now I’m in the yellow jersey.”

As Yates and Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) rode clear, Alaphilippe cracked, losing over two minutes to stage winner Yates in the final three kilometres and tumbling to ninth overall.

“I wasn’t very aware of what was happening behind me once I’d attacked, but I knew the time gaps. Izagirre and I really rode hard, until about two kilometres to go, when there was some cat and mouse and he sat up a little bit. I wasn’t really confident about taking him to the line for a sprint, so that’s why I decided to attack.”

Meanwhile, Team Sky’s hopes for overall victory - still alive when the peloton left the Promenade des Anglais on Saturday morning, despite Wout Poels’ crash on the road to Vence - faded a little further after Sergio Henao struggled to follow Yates and Izagirre on the road to La Colmiane.

“We’re a bit disappointed,” said Sky sports director Gabriel Rasch as a mud-spattered Henao, now 57 seconds behind Yates, warmed down nearby. “It was a super hectic stage.”

“Sergio and David de la Cruz group’s split on the big descent in the middle of the stage and they had to use a lot of energy to get back. In the finish, Sergio paid for that.

“The weather, I think, was definitely a factor,” Rasch said, “it was such a horrible day.”

But with the top five all within 30 seconds of the race lead, Rasch remained quietly optimistic that Henao could still be in the mix. “Tomorrow we’ll see. From previous years, we know that a lot of things can happen on that stage. It’s going to be another hectic day.”

How It Unfolded

As a chilly rain fell on the Nice seafront this morning, there was talk of possible snow falling at the ski station finish. In the end, that didn’t materialise but cold weather and heavy showers made for a tough and gruelling stage for the peloton.

There were four non-starters, including former race leader and stage 1 winner, Arnaud Demare, and also Ian Boswell of Katusha. By the end of the day, after a further 13 riders abandoned, there were just 114 of the original peloton of 154 remaining.

The day’s break came together quickly and had the mark of real quality, with eight riders slipping away over the Cote de Gattieres, the first recognised climb after just 10 kilometres.

Moving clear were Rory Sutherland (UAE Team Emirates), Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale), Alessandro de Marchi and Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing), Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Amael Moinard (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis).

After an opening 80 kilometres punctuated by a series of high profile abandons, including those of Dan Martin, Alexander Kristoff, Koen de Kort and Julien El Fares, the break’s lead hovered at around three minutes.

But on the descent of the Col Saint Raphael, the peloton split, with Henao and Tim Wellens in the second group, and the race finally began in earnest as Yates’s Mitchelton Scott team moved to the front with Bahrain-Merida.

The break’s impetus was definitively lost with 30 kilometres to race when Pantano and De Marchi crashed heavily as they took a slick left-hand bend. Although the Colombian was quickly back on his bike, it took De Marchi several minutes to climb out of the ravine and remount to finish the stage.

With only three riders — Gallopin, Moinard and Roche — still clear, the race came together on the final climb, with AG2R La Mondiale’s leader the last of the break to get caught.

It remained a large group into the final kilometres, but eventually, Sanchez, expertly shepherded by teammates Michael Valgren, Omar Fraile, and Jakob Fuglsang, couldn’t hold the pace and finally slipped back with six kilometres remaining.

That was the signal for Yates’s teammate, Roman Kreuziger, to further tighten the screw. It was enough to tip Alaphilippe over the edge and proved also to be the signal for Yates to make his decisive move with just over four kilometres to go.

Izagirre was the only rival to react, but in truth, he never looked at ease with Yates’s pace and a further acceleration from the British rider, a kilometre and a half from the line, was too much for the Czech.

Now Yates will face a nervous final stage, with Bahrain-Merida duo, Ion and Gorka Izagirre breathing down his neck. With Tim Wellens and Dylan Teuns also within half a minute of the yellow jersey, Yates isn’t taking anything for granted

“The last stage is always difficult,” he said. “I’ve raced Paris-Nice five times now so I know that it’s a difficult stage. If you look at the GC for the last few years, the race has been won and lost with really small gaps in the GC.

“So I expect the same tomorrow – I know we will have to be ‘on’ it,” he said. “But the team looked after me perfectly all day. I was never wasting energy and I think that really made a difference in the finale today. So I’m confident for tomorrow.”


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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott5:02:54
2Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:00:08
3Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 2 - Cell 2
4Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:00:13
5Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 4 - Cell 2
6Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:20
7Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky0:00:46
8Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team0:00:48
10Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:54
11Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:58
13Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:01:04
14Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-Scott0:01:36
15Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:01
16Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 15 - Cell 2
17Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 16 - Cell 2
18Warren Barguil (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:02:08
19David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky0:02:19
20Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:02:40
21Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:03:41
22Remy Di Gregorio (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 21 - Cell 2
23Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:04:22
24Diego Rosa (Ita) Team SkyRow 23 - Cell 2
25Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 24 - Cell 2
26Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:04:25
28Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Team Sunweb0:04:41
29Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro Team0:08:00
30Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:08:03
31Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:09:12
32Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 31 - Cell 2
33Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:10:41
34Benjamin King (USA) Dimension DataRow 33 - Cell 2
35Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 35 - Cell 2
37Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:12:03
38Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo0:12:56
39Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:13:56
40Rory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team EmiratesRow 39 - Cell 2
41Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:14:00
42Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-ScottRow 41 - Cell 2
43Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-ScottRow 42 - Cell 2
44Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie0:14:32
45Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo0:15:05
46Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:16:40
47Simon Gerrans (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:17:54
48Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 47 - Cell 2
49Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:18:02
50Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-ScottRow 49 - Cell 2
51Natnael Berhane (Eri) Dimension DataRow 50 - Cell 2
52Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-MeridaRow 51 - Cell 2
53Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 53 - Cell 2
55Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Magnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Amael Moinard (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 56 - Cell 2
58Matti Breschel (Den) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 57 - Cell 2
59Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:21:52
60Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:22:19
61Delio Fernandez Cruz (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 60 - Cell 2
62Romain Combaud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 61 - Cell 2
63Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 62 - Cell 2
64Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 63 - Cell 2
65Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team SkyRow 64 - Cell 2
66Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension DataRow 65 - Cell 2
67Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 66 - Cell 2
68David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team SkyRow 67 - Cell 2
69Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 68 - Cell 2
70Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing TeamRow 69 - Cell 2
71Roy Curvers (Ned) Team SunwebRow 70 - Cell 2
72Gregory Rast (Swi) Trek-SegafredoRow 71 - Cell 2
73Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:22:25
74Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 73 - Cell 2
75Ian Stannard (GBr) Team SkyRow 74 - Cell 2
76Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:22:30
77Manuele Boaro (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 76 - Cell 2
78Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie0:24:46
79Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar Team0:25:56
80Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz (Pol) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 79 - Cell 2
81Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 80 - Cell 2
82Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie0:26:03
83Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:26:04
84Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:26:13
85Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 84 - Cell 2
86Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 85 - Cell 2
87Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 86 - Cell 2
88Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 87 - Cell 2
89Jay Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data0:26:53
90Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 89 - Cell 2
91Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension DataRow 90 - Cell 2
92Juraj Sagan (Svk) Bora-HansgroheRow 91 - Cell 2
93Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 92 - Cell 2
94Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 93 - Cell 2
95Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 94 - Cell 2
96Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 95 - Cell 2
97Paul Martens (Ger) LottoNL-JumboRow 96 - Cell 2
98Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 97 - Cell 2
99Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step FloorsRow 98 - Cell 2
100Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 99 - Cell 2
101Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 100 - Cell 2
102Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin0:27:16
103Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:28:27
104Alex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 103 - Cell 2
105Mathew Hayman (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:29:02
106André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:32:28
107Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 106 - Cell 2
108Lars Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 107 - Cell 2
109Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 108 - Cell 2
109Erik Baska (Svk) Bora-HansgroheRow 109 - Cell 2
111Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 110 - Cell 2
112Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 111 - Cell 2
113Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 112 - Cell 2
114Jerome Cousin (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 113 - Cell 2
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Sprint 1 - 18.5 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal3pts
2Amael Moinard (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Rory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team Emirates1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Finish Line Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott15pts
2Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team12Row 1 - Cell 3
3Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida9Row 2 - Cell 3
4Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida7Row 3 - Cell 3
5Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe5Row 5 - Cell 3
7Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky4Row 6 - Cell 3
8Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team3Row 7 - Cell 3
9Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team2Row 8 - Cell 3
10Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb1Row 9 - Cell 3
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KOM 1 - Côte de Gattières - 10 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal7pts
2Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team5Row 1 - Cell 3
3Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale3Row 2 - Cell 3
4Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Amael Moinard (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic1Row 4 - Cell 3
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KOM 2 - Côte de la Sainte-Baume - 84.5 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal10pts
2Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale8Row 1 - Cell 3
3Rory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team Emirates6Row 2 - Cell 3
4Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team4Row 3 - Cell 3
5Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits3Row 4 - Cell 3
6Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo2Row 5 - Cell 3
7Amael Moinard (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic1Row 6 - Cell 3
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KOM 3 - Col Saint-Raphaël - 108 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal7pts
2Rory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team Emirates5Row 1 - Cell 3
3Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team3Row 2 - Cell 3
4Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Amael Moinard (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic1Row 4 - Cell 3
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KOM 4 - Côte de Villars-sur-Var - 134.5 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal7pts
2Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team5Row 1 - Cell 3
3Rory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team Emirates3Row 2 - Cell 3
4Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team1Row 4 - Cell 3
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