Jens Keukeleire spent stage six of Paris-Nice in the early break. Michael Matthews factored into a late race ten rider move that was neutralised on the run in towards the line. Carlos Betancur (Ag2r La Mondiale) took his second stage win in as many days, which allowed him to snatch the yellow jersey away from Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) ahead of the final two days of racing.
Keukeleire was the best-placed rider in the ten man move that formed after the first intermediate sprint. The Belgian started the day only 25” down on Thomas. Consequently, Team Sky could not afford to give the breakaway a long leash. Their advantage peaked at three minutes.
As Team Sky closed in on the escape group, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) jumped across to the leaders on the Côte des Tuilières. They made contact with the breakaway on the descent, and the group swelled in size to include 12 riders. Forty kilometres from the finish, the front group had splintered. Chavanel, Voeckler, Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Belisol) and Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) held a slim advantage over the Sky-led peloton. The quartet was overtaken over the top of the first ascent of the Col de Bourigaille.
The attacks that began up the Col de Bourigaille continued on the ascent. Matthews had survived the punishing gradient to summit with the yellow jersey group of approximately 40 riders. When a front group of ten took shape, Matthews had made the selection. The race came back together on the category two climb into Fayence. Matthews faded back to 30th place on the stage, crossing the line 32" behind Betancur.
“Bling was around the mark for the stage until the very end. He went over the top of the Col de Bourigaille with the leaders. He hadn’t missed a beat. He was in the right position when he just ran out of legs. Until 400 metres to go, things looked really good for him. Then, the gears just fell off.” - Sport Director Dave McPartland
|1||Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) - AG2R La Mondiale||5:12:11|
|2||Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) - Lampre-Merida||ST|
|3||Zdenek Stybar (Cze) - Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team||0:00:03|
|4||Geraint Thomas (GBr) - Team Sky||ST|
|5||Arthur Vichot (Fra) - FDJ.fr||ST|
|6||Cyril Gautier (Fra) - Team Europcar||0:00:07|
|7||Jakob Fuglsang (Den) - Astana Pro Team||ST|
|8||Tony Gallopin (Fra) - Lotto Belisol||ST|
|9||Stefan Denifl (Aut) - IAM Cycling||ST|
|10||Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) - Movistar Team||0:00:11|
|30||Michael Matthews (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:00:32|
|50||Simon Yates (GBr) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:04:43|
|86||Mathew Hayman (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:14:34|
|130||Michael Albasini (Swi) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|142||Jens Keukeleire (Bel) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|148||Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|152||Mitchell Docker (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|