NICE, France, March 9, 2013 (AFP) – France’s Sylvain Chavanel, of the Omega
Pharma team, won the sixth and penultimate stage of the Paris-Nice race on
Saturday, while Australia’s Richie Porte, of Team Sky, held on to the overall
Chavanel pipped Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert and Jose Joaquin Rojas of Spain
in a sprint finish on Nice’s famous waterfront Promenade des Anglais.
“I am super happy,” exclaimed Chavanel after his win. “It’s the second time I won here in Nice, after my victory in 2008. It’s always a great emotion to raise the arms here. Today I decided to do the sprint because I was looking for some points for the Green Jersey. There was a head wind in the final, so I asked Kevin De Weert to stay near me. He did a great job and he left me in the perfect position on the wheel of Gilbert and Dumoulin. With the bonification fixation I took, I’m now 3rd. Tomorrow will be difficult for me, but I will try to do my best to stay in the top 10.”
“Today is a special day for the team,” Chavanel continued. “Kwiatkowski the new leader at Tirreno is great news. I’m happy for him and the team, and I hope he can keep the jersey as long as he can.”
Porte retains a 32-second lead from American Andrew Talansky in the overall
standings, with Chavanel third at 42sec, level with Lieuwe Westra of the
Sunday’s final stage is a 9.6km time-trial up to the Col-d’Eze.
Porte had said Friday he was confident of seeing out overall victory on
Sunday, although Chavanel, the French time-trial champion, could still have a
1. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/Omega Pharma) 5hr 14min 23sec, 2. Philippe Gilbert
(BEL/BMC) s.t, 3. Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV) s.t, 4. Samuel Dumoulin
5. Tony Gallopin (FRA/RSH) s.t, 6. Julien Simon (FRA/SOJ) s.t, 7. Borut
Bozic (SLO/AST) s.t, 8. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/IAM) s.t, 9. Jonathan Hivert
(FRA/SOJ) s.t, 10. Alberto Losada (ESP/KAT) s.t.
1. Richie Porte (AUS/SKY) 29hr 40min 31sec, 2. Andrew Talansky (USA/GRM)
at 0:32, 3. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/OPQ) 0:42, 4. Lieuwe Westra (NED/VAC)
0:42, 5. Jean Christophe Peraud (FRA/ALM) 0:49, 6. Tejay Van Garderen
(USA/BMC) 0:52, 7. Peter Velits (SVK/OPQ) 0:53, 8. Simon Spilak (SLO/KAT)
0:53, 9. Diego Ulissi (ITA/LAM) 0:54, 10. Andriy Grivko (UKR/AST) 1:06