MONTAGNE DE LURE, France, March 13, 2009 – Spain’s Alberto Contador, riding for the Astana team, won the sixth stage of Paris-Nice cycling race on Friday to take the leader’s yellow jersey with two day’s racing left.
Contador, winner of the 2007 Tour de France and last year’s Tour of Italy and Tour of Spain, finished ahead of Frank Schlek, from the Saxo Bank team, at the finish at an altitude of 1,600 meters.
An eight-rider breakaway soon after the start of the stage had split the racers, but Contador clawed his way back into the reckoning.
After a first attack by German Jens Voigt, Contador managed to break free with seven kilometres remaining and keep up his pace for his second stage win after his time-trial victory on the first day.
Overnight yellow jersey wearer Sylvain Chavanel suffered in the final run-in and was 1min 50sec off Contador’s pace.
In the overall standings, Contador now stands 1:13 ahead of compatriot Luis Leon Sanchez, with Chavanel a further 11sec adrift.
Earlier in the day French Bougyues Telecom rider Thomas Voeckler suffered a broken collarbone in a fall shortly after the start of the stage at Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux.
Voeckler was taken immediately to a hospital in Orange where he underwent surgery.
The former yellow jersey holder on the Tour de France in 2004 was standing 16th in the overall Paris-Nice standings after finishing second in Thursday’s fifth stage.
Saturday sees the peloton racing a 191km seventh stage from Manosque to Fayence.
Photo by: CorVos Pro
1. Alberto Contador (ESP/AST) 4hr 47min 46sec
2. Frank Schleck (LUX/SAX) at 0:58
3. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/GCE) 0:58
4. Cadel Evans (AUS/SIL) 1:27
5. David Moncoutié (FRA/COF) 1:27
6. Jens Voigt (GER/SAX) 1:29
7. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/EUS) 1:31
8. Jonathan Hivert (FRA/SKS) 1:34
9. Christophe Moreau (FRA/AGR) 1:44
10. Chris-Anker Sorensen (DEN/SAX) 1:46
11. Sandy Casar (FRA/FDJ) 1:46
12. Kevin Seeldraeyers (BEL/QST) 1:50
13. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/QST) 1:50
14. Amael Moinard (FRA/COF) 2:02
15. Christophe Le Mevel (FRA/FDJ) 2:02
16. Yury Trofimov (RUS/BTL) 2:02
17. Antonio Colom (ESP/KAT) 2:06
18. Vladimir Efimkin (RUS/A2R) 2:47
19. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/LIQ) 2:47
20. David Lopez (ESP/GCE) 2:47
1. Alberto Contador (ESP/AST) 23hr 21min 08sec
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/GCE) at 1:13
3. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/QST) 1:24
4. Frank Schleck (LUX/SAX) 1:38
5. Kevin Seeldraeyers (BEL/QST) 2:01
6. Jens Voigt (GER/SAX) 2:06
7. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/EUS) 2:14
8. Jonathan Hivert (FRA/SKS) 2:29
9. Antonio Colom (ESP/KAT) 2:35
10. Yury Trofimov (RUS/BTL) 3:09
11. Christophe Le Mevel (FRA/FDJ) 3:32
12. Christophe Moreau (FRA/AGR) 4:16
13. Maxime Monfort (BEL/THR) 4:38
14. Sandy Casar (FRA/FDJ) 4:45
15. Juan Manuel Garate (ESP/RAB) 4:46
16. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/LIQ) 5:12
17. David Millar (GBR/GRM) 5:30
18. Vladimir Karpets (RUS/KAT) 5:37
19. Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA/A2R) 6:04
20. van den Broeck (BEL/SIL) 6:12