Paris-Nice 2015: Gallopin wins incredible stage

Tony GallopinAll eyes were in the mountain stage Vence-Nice on Kwiatkowski, Porte and Thomas. But it's home-rider Tony Gallopin bringing a long escape home after a brilliant descent in the last 25 kilometres. Bad luck for SKY with both Porte and Thomas hitting the tarmac just when they had Kwiatkowski down. Gallopin is in the yellow jersey for tomorrow´s closing time trial. (Slideshow route/profile)

Paris – Nice 2015: Results stage 6

1. Tony Gallopin (fra)
2. Simon Spilak (slo) + 0.32
3. Rui Costa (por) s.t.
4. Jakob Fuglsang (den) s.t.
5. Rafael Valls (spa) + 0.35
6. Michael Andersen (den) + 1.00
7. Tim Wellens (bel) s.t.
8. Sylvain Chavanel (fra) s.t.
9. Arhur Vichot (fra) s.t.
10. Nicolas Edet (fra) s.t.

12. Richie Porte (aus) + 1.00
13. Geraint Thomas (gbr) s.t.
14. Michal Kwiatkowski (pol) + 1.02

GC after stage 6
1. Tony Gallopin (fra)
2. Richie Porte (aus) + 0.36
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (pol) + 0.37
4. Geraint Thomas (gbr) + 0.38
5. Jakob Fuglsang (den) s.t.
6. Rui Costa (por) + 0.42
7. Simon Spilak (slo) + 0.53
8. Rafael Valls (spa) + + 1.01
9. Gorka Izaguirre (spa) + 1.19
10. Tim Wellens (bel) + 2.00

Race Report
With 4 kilometres done 14 escapees go for glory, among them king of the mountains Thomas De Gendt. Just like he did yesterday and two days ago. Of course he is eyeing up the KOM points after 35 km’s of racing at the Col du Vence. The Belgian gets what he is looking for and when he does the same at Côte de Levens he is officially the KOM winner in Paris-Nice 2015.

The front group changes in appearance several times. At one point it´s 31 riders upfront, but things start to change at the Côte de Coaraze. Lots of riders drop from the front group and in the pack leader Kwiatkowski attacks. With team-mates Tony Martin, Julian Alaphilippe and Michal Golas he breaks free, but SKY brings him back. Then again, the action diminishes the break’s gain.

At Col Saint Roch the front group is a mix of new faces and early escapees, and 1’30” down are Kwiatkowski, Porte, Thomas, Rui Costa, Valls, Fuglsang, Van Garderen, Gallopin, Martin, Spilak with a bunch of other riders.

In the descent Kwiatkowski attacks again, along with Tony Martin. Being more daring on the wet asphalt they put 0’36” into the SKY-boys. Kwiatkowski joins the front group at the foot of Côte de Peille. Porte and Thomas are gradually closing in – 0’32” by now, they seem to know what they are doing.

Tony Gallopin goes solo on Côte de Peille and after cresting he starts the long descent to Nice. Behind him Kwiatkowski learns a hard lesson – not only is he caught by the SKY-men, they drop him while they are at it.

In the descent it all turns sour for SKY when both Porte and Thomas hit the tarmac. Their company – Valls, Rui Costa, Spilak and Fuglsang – rush off and Kwiatkowski comes back from the dead and hooks up with them. Meanwhile Gallopin is flying. All of a sudden he is a serious overall contender. Behind him are Valls, Rui Costa, Spilak and Fuglsang at 0’25”. Kwiatkowski, Porte and Thomas are 0’50” down.

It is enough. Tony Gallopin brings a strong stage performance and a brilliant descent home with a win. Thomas, Porte et al are at 1 minute, Kwiatkowski finishes 2 seconds later. So Gallopin will be in the yellow jersey when racing up Col d’Eze tomorrow.

Paris – Nice 2015 stage 6: Images and more

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Tony Gallopin

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