Simon Yates takes Queen Stage victory and leads GC at Paris-Nice
Mar 10 2018 10:13 pm CET

Simon Yates takes Queen Stage victory and leads GC at Paris-Nice
Simon Yates takes Queen Stage victory and leads GC at Paris-Nice

Mitchelton-Scott's Simon Yates was the strongest man at the Queen Stage of Paris-Nice. The Briton crossed the finish line on his own after launching a last kilometre attack on Ion Izagirre.

The seventh stage in the French race was 175 kilometres long and included three climbs of the second category and two of the first category, featuring an up-hill final.

The day started with an escape of eight that included riders like Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Alessandro de Marchi and Nicolas Roche (BMC). This group managed to create a gap of over three minutes with the pack but was reduced in size as the climbs passed.

Meanwhile, the hard wind was creating chaos in the peloton and caused it to break into two groups. In the front meanwhile, de Marchi and Pantano crashed during a descent and left only three men leading the race.

It was a day of withdrawals as riders like Mike Teunissen (Sunweb), Alexander Kristoff and Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates) were forced to give up.

At the start of the last climb, all the remaining escapees were caught and some others struggled in the back such as Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).

The rest of the climb tested the legs of the favourites and proved to be too hard for GC leader Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and his teammate Jakob Fuglsang.

With four kilometres to go, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) launched an attack and was followed by Bahrain-Merida's Ion Izagirre. The duo left behind other favourites like Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and Sergio Henao (Sky).

At two kilometres from the finish, BMC's Dylan Teuns accelerated and the change of pace was too hard for Alaphilippe to follow. Very soon Yates also attacked in the front and Izagirre couldn't follow him.

The last efforts were enough for the Briton to take the stage victory and the lead of the General Classification. Teuns and Izagirre were second and third on the day.



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