After a challenging queen stage in Paris-Nice, Yates remains in the top ten overall

Sat 11 Mar 2017

Today’s penultimate stage in Paris-Nice saw a significant change in the general classification due to a challenging, 15kilometre first category climb to conclude the 177kilometre queen stage.

Yesterday’s stage winner Simon Yates fought hard all day, but with seven kilometres to go the high pace and length of the climb proved too much and he eventually finished the stage in 21st place, 4minutes 20seconds behind the winner Richie Porte (BMC Racing team).

After yesterday’s huge effort sport director Laurenzo Lapage was satisfied with Yates ride today and maintaining a top ten placing after what was a fast paced, difficult finish to the stage.

“After the effort yesterday it is normal to have today’s result,” said Lapage. “Like we said before we started the race, this is only Simon’s second race so I think we have to be happy with his performance yesterday and today.”

“Top ten overall was a goal for us at the beginning of the race and we still hold on to that after today, plus a stage victory and there’s still one stage to come. So for sure we are not disappointed.”

How it happened:

The opening to stage seven began like yesterday’s stage with a group breaking away within the initial 10kilometres.

With two tough first category climbs to come later in the stage, the peloton allowed the leaders to gain a maximum advantage of over three minutes.

Once the peloton arrived at the penultimate climb of the day, the Col Saint-Martin, the leaders returned to the group leaving only Lilian Calmejane (Direct-Energie) out front.

The solo leader headed over the top of the 7.5kilometre climb with a advantage of one minute 10seconds as the pace in the chase group increased.

Yates remained at the front of the chase which had significantly reduced with riders dropping off the back as each kilometre ticked down.

By the start of the final climb up to the summit finish in Col De la Couillole, a 15kilometre ascent with and average gradient of 7.1%, the solo leader was finally reeled in and two other riders, Quantin Pacher (Delko-Marseille) and Diego Ulissi (UAE) almost immediately attacked to become the new leaders.

Team Sky and Trek-Segafredo injected a surge of pace half way up the climb which quickly whittled down the still large lead bunch to just twelve riders. 

Yates fought hard but eventually lost contact with the leaders and found himself in a group with four other riders around one minute behind and remains tenth overall.

With just one stage to go the final classification is still open to change with more challenging first category climbs ahead.

Paris-Nice stage seven results:

1. Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team) 5:01:35
2. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) +0:21
3. Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) +0:32
10. Simon Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +4:20

General classification after seven:

1. Sergio Henao (Team Sky) 27:01:15
2. Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) +0:30
3.  Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)+0:31
10. Simon Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +4:39

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