BIOT, France, March 15, 2014 (AFP) – Dutch rider Tom-Jelte Slagter of the
Garmin team won the seventh stage of the Paris-Nice cycling race on Saturday
as Colombian Carlos Betancur closed in on the title.
Slagter won an uphill sprint finish ahead of world champion Rui Costa of
Portugal followed by yellow jersey holder Betancur, with the ‘Race to the Sun’
due to conclude in Nice on Sunday.
Britain’s Geraint Thomas, second overall at the start from Mougins, lost
ground after a fall 5km from the finish line after the 195.5km stage at Biot.
Slagter also won Wednesday’s stage at Belleville, but his title hopes took
a knock on Friday when his gears broke after colliding with another rider 3km
from the line.
“It was very frustrating because the title was finished for me,” said the
“It was tough to get back on the saddle today but when we arrived I saw
that it was a finish which was perfect for. I’m delighted to have won again.
“It’s the best possible start to the season for me.”
AG2R La Mondiale rider Betancur leads Costa by 14sec before the tough final
stage over 128km which includes five climbs in Provence before arriving in
“It was another difficult day for us,” said Betancur.
“I know that I’m close to victory but it’s still a dream.”
Results and standings of Saturday’s
seventh stage, a 195.5km ride from Mougins to Biot on Saturday:
1. Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED/Garmin) 5h 00min 05sec, 2. Rui Costa (POR/LAM)
s.t., 3. Carlos Betancur (COL/ALM) s.t., 4. Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV) s.t.,
5. Arthur Vichot (FRA/FDJ) s.t., 6. Tony Gallopin (FRA/LTB) s.t., 7. Stefan
Denifl (AUT/IAM) s.t., 8. Zdenek Stybar (CZE/OPQ) s.t., 9. Jakob Fuglsang
(DEN/AST) s.t., 10. Peter Velits (SVK/BMC) s.t.
63. Andy Schleck (LUX/TRE) 5:38
84. Tom Boonen (BEL/OPQ) 9:53.
1. Carlos Betancur (COL/ALM) 32hr 04min 49sec, 2. Rui Costa (POR/LAM) 0:14,
3. Zdenek Stybar (CZE/OPQ) 0:26, 4. José Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV) 0:27, 5.
Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 0:29, 6. Arthur Vichot (FRA/FDJ) 0:31, 7. Cyril
Gautier (FRA/EUC) 0:35, 8. Stefan Denifl (AUT/IAM) 0:35, 9. Peter Velits
(SVK/BMC) 0:39, 10. Simon Spilak (SLO/KAT) 0:39
17. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 1:09
75. Tom Boonen (BEL/OPQ) 31:29
80. Andy Schleck (LUX/TRE) 34:16