Paris-Nice: Thomas Crashes out of Contention on Stage 7


Geraint Thomas, 2nd at the start of the day, crashed out of contention for the GC in Paris-Nice after losing seven minutes. Stage was won by Tom-Jelte Slagter

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Paris-Nice: Thomas Crashes out of Contention on Stage 7

The final five kilometres of the stage were very active and Geraint Thomas, the race leader for two days, crashed heavily with Franck Schleck (TFR) and Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ). The Welshman made it back on his bike but finally lost more than seven minutes with a suspected injury.


Spurred ON by an untimely mechanical On the previous stage, Tom-Jelte Slagter (GRS) hit back to snatch his second stage victory in this years Paris-Nice, surging forward in the finale of a breath-taking seventh stage in Biot to beat World champion Rui Costa (LAM) and yellow jersey holder Carlos Betancur (ALM).

The Colombian Betancur increased his overall lead after nearest rival Geraint Thomas, second at the start eight seconds behind him, crashed with 4.5 km to go. Before the winding final stage around Nice on Sunday, Betancur now leads Rui Costa by 14 seconds and Czech Zdenek Stybar by 26. Out of contention overall, Slagter, 23, still earned the most superb consolation after his previous win in Bellevile in stage 4.

Six plus three equal nine
From the flag, six riders parted company with the bunch: Lieuwe Westra (AST), Pim Ligthart (LTB) Laurent Didier (TFR), Sylvester Szmyd (MOV), Albert Timmer (GIA) and Florian Guillou (BSE). They were immediately chased by Mathias Frank (IAM), Brice Feillu (BSE), Marco Marcato (CAN), Cyril Lemoine (COF) and briefly by Amael Moinard (BMC). As Marcato was dropped from the chasing group, his companions caught the break (km 38) and nine men tackled the Col de Vence in the front.

Despite the best efforts of Frank, trying to save the polka-dot jersey of his IAM team leader Sylvain Chavanel, Pim Ligthart (LTB) was first on the first category pass overlooking Vence (km 49 ) and again at the top of Cote de Cipieres (3rd cat, km 67.5). As the break lost Brice Feillu, Ligthart again earned 10 points on Col de l’Ecre (km 85) and four more on the second passage of Cote de Cipieres (km 120). He finally collected the full 32 points on offer to seize the polka-dot jersey on 41 points.

As the peloton were catching most of the break shortly before the first passage on the line, Westra broke clear on his own (km 152). The Dutchman, runner-up to Bradley Wiggins in the 2012 edition, crossed the line with a slim lead over the bunch in which Rui Costa (LAM) surged to pick two bonus seconds ahead of Jose Joaquin Rojas (MOV).

Carlos Betancur could only watch from a distance. Several skirmishes took place after the junction, the most active riders being Chavanel, Alessandro de Marchi (CAN) and Fabio Felline (TFR), involved in most coupes. At the front of the bunch, AG2R kept a close watch, helped by Europcar and none of the several moves took any substantial lead.

The longest of those involved Chavanel, Felline, Alex Howe (GRS), Francesco Gavazzi (AST) Jan Bakelants (OPQ), John Gadret (MOV), Yuri Trofimov (KAT), Angel Mate (COF) and Nicki Sorensen (TCS).

Thomas crashes
The final five kilometres were just as restless and Geraint Thomas, the race leader for two days, paid the full price when he crashed heavily with Franck Schleck (TFR) and Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ).

The Welshman made it back on his bike but finally lost more than seven minutes with a suspected collarbone injury. In front, AG2R, taking turns with Rui Costa’s Lampre team-mates imposed a hellish pace, quashing attempts by Jakob Fuglsang (AST) and Dries Devenyns (GIA). While most sprinters, like John Degenkolb (GIA) or Bryan Coquard (EUC) could not keep up with the tempo, the battle on the line was again between the strong men of this 72d Race to the Sun.

Slagter proved just a little bit too fast for Rui Costa, second for the second day in succession, while Betancur salvaged third place.

Afterwards, the yellow jersey Betancur said “We spent a very tough day as there was a lot of pressure on us, but the whole team did a great job, especially in the last kilometers when I received great support while the tension was at its highest. Now we have to stay on our guard tomorrow because some riders are still pretty close. I’m close to victory but it’s still a dream. It would be an enormous satisfaction to win this race, one of the greatest in the world.”

Slagter meanwhile was very pleased with the stage win saying “Yesterday at the start I was feeling really good and I lost everything in the end. It was the best possible revenge to win the stage today.”

“It’s definitely a great Paris-Nice for me, not quite a revelation because I won the Tour Down Under last year, but obviously it gives me great morale for the future. It’s a little bit like what Andrew (Talansky) did here a year ago.”

“I will now be riding the classics and the Tour of the Basque Country before the Giro, so it’s a long and tough schedule.”

1 SLAGTER Tom-Jelte Garmin Sharp 05:00:05
2 COSTA Rui Lampre – Merida ,,
3 BETANCUR Carlos AG2R La Mondiale ,,
4 ROJAS José Joaquin Movistar Team ,,
5 VICHOT Arthur ,,
6 GALLOPIN Tony Lotto Belisol ,,
7 DENIFL Stefan IAM Cycling ,,
8 STYBAR Zdenek Omega Pharma – Quick-Step ,,
9 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team ,,
10 VELITS Peter BMC Racing Team ,,
11 GAUTIER Cyril Team Europcar ,,
12 MATTHEWS Michael Orica GreenEDGE ,,
13 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team ,,
14 KELDERMAN Wilco Belkin-Pro Cycling Team ,,
15 YATES Simon Orica GreenEDGE ,,
16 MAJKA Rafal Tinkoff-Saxo ,,
17 IZAGIRRE Ion Movistar Team ,,
18 IZAGIRRE Gorka Movistar Team ,,
19 SPILAK Simon Team Katusha ,,
20 BAKELANTS Jan Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 00:07
21 JUNGELS Bob Trek Factory Racing ,,
22 REICHENBACH Sebastien IAM Cycling ,,
23 MONFORT Maxime Lotto Belisol ,,
24 SEP̼LVEDA Eduardo Bretagne РS̩ch̩ Environnement ,,
25 VACHON Florian Bretagne РS̩ch̩ Environnement ,,
26 DEVENYNS Dries Team Giant-Shimano ,,
27 VAN AVERMAET Greg BMC Racing Team ,,
28 MATE MARDONES Luis Angel Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ,,
29 HIVERT Jonathan Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 00:14
30 CARUSO Damiano Cannondale 00:19
31 CHAVANEL Sylvain IAM Cycling 00:22
32 GADRET John Movistar Team ,,
33 VANENDERT Jelle Lotto Belisol ,,
34 FEILLU Brice Bretagne РS̩ch̩ Environnement 00:29
35 SøRENSEN Chris Anker Tinkoff-Saxo 00:38
36 BARDET Romain AG2R La Mondiale 00:40
37 JEANNESSON Arnold ,,
38 BENNETT George Cannondale ,,
39 VUILLERMOZ Alexis AG2R La Mondiale 00:51
40 CARDOSO André Garmin Sharp 00:56
41 FELLINE Fabio Trek Factory Racing 00:57
42 LANGEVELD Sebastian Garmin Sharp 01:00
43 GAVAZZI Francesco Astana Pro Team 01:05
44 COPPEL Jérome Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 01:18
45 DELAPLACE Anthony Bretagne РS̩ch̩ Environnement ,,
46 NIEMIEC Przemyslaw Lampre – Merida 01:42
47 MOINARD Amaël BMC Racing Team 01:45
48 CHEREL Mikael AG2R La Mondiale 02:00
49 WEGMANN Fabian Garmin Sharp 02:11
50 VILLELLA Davide Cannondale ,,
51 SERPA PEREZ Jose Rodolfo Lampre – Merida ,,
52 KEUKELEIRE Jens Orica GreenEDGE 02:15
53 SILIN Egor Team Katusha 02:27
54 COQUARD Bryan Team Europcar ,,
55 HUPOND Thierry Team Giant-Shimano 02:35
56 TROFIMOV Yuri Team Katusha 02:53
57 PINEAU Jérome IAM Cycling ,,
58 WELLENS Tim Lotto Belisol 03:06
59 SCHLECK Fränk Trek Factory Racing 03:41
60 LOPEZ GARCIA David Team Sky 04:47
61 ZANDIO ECHAIDE Xabier Team Sky ,,
62 VOECKLER Thomas Team Europcar 05:38
63 SCHLECK Andy Trek Factory Racing ,,
64 STETINA Peter BMC Racing Team 06:00
65 VAUGRENARD Benoit 06:18
66 THOMAS Geraint Team Sky 07:13
67 KUCHYNSKI Aliaksandr Team Katusha 08:58
68 ERVITI Imanol Movistar Team ,,
69 HOWES Alex Garmin Sharp ,,
70 CATTANEO Mattia Lampre – Merida ,,
71 HERRADA Jesús Movistar Team ,,
72 SøRENSEN Nicki Tinkoff-Saxo ,,
73 DE MARCHI Alessandro Cannondale 09:04
74 KROON Karsten Tinkoff-Saxo 09:53
75 HAYMAN Mathew Orica GreenEDGE ,,
76 SALERNO Cristiano Cannondale ,,
77 AGNOLI Valerio Astana Pro Team ,,
78 HINAULT Sébastien IAM Cycling ,,
79 MINARD Sébastien AG2R La Mondiale ,,
80 ZINGLE Romain Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ,,
81 WYNANTS Maarten Belkin-Pro Cycling Team ,,
82 MARCATO Marco Cannondale ,,
83 OLIVEIRA Nelson Lampre – Merida ,,
84 BOONEN Tom Omega Pharma – Quick-Step ,,
85 VANDENBERGH Stijn Omega Pharma – Quick-Step ,,
86 BONO Matteo Lampre – Merida ,,
87 BUSCHE Matthew Trek Factory Racing ,,
88 RAST Gregory Trek Factory Racing ,,
89 VANOTTI Alessandro Astana Pro Team ,,
90 GASPAROTTO Enrico Astana Pro Team ,,
91 BOZIC Borut Astana Pro Team ,,
92 FAVILLI Elia Lampre – Merida ,,
93 PINEAU Cédric 11:45
94 HUSHOVD Thor BMC Racing Team ,,
95 DE KORT Koen Team Giant-Shimano ,,
96 KOCH Michel Cannondale ,,
97 WACKERMANN Luca Lampre – Merida ,,
98 KRISTOFF Alexander Team Katusha ,,
99 MAES Nikolas Omega Pharma – Quick-Step ,,
100 JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt Team Giant-Shimano ,,
101 HOFLAND Moreno Belkin-Pro Cycling Team ,,
102 DUMOULIN Samuel AG2R La Mondiale ,,
103 CHERNETCKII Sergei Team Katusha ,,
104 GESLIN Anthony ,,
105 ISTA Kevyn IAM Cycling ,,
106 ARMéE Sander Lotto Belisol ,,
107 GUILLOU Florian Bretagne РS̩ch̩ Environnement ,,
108 QUEMENEUR Perrig Team Europcar ,,
109 NAULEAU Bryan Team Europcar ,,
110 DEGENKOLB John Team Giant-Shimano ,,
111 BERNAUDEAU Giovanni Team Europcar 13:11
112 DIDIER Laurent Trek Factory Racing ,,
113 TSATEVICH Alexey Team Katusha ,,
114 WESTRA Lieuwe Astana Pro Team ,,
115 KIRYIENKA Vasil Team Sky 16:19
116 TERPSTRA Niki Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 17:25
117 PETIT Adrien Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 17:27
118 ROWE Luke Team Sky ,,
119 NORDHAUG Lars Petter Belkin-Pro Cycling Team ,,
120 DE BACKER Bert Team Giant-Shimano ,,
121 CUMMINGS Stephen BMC Racing Team ,,
122 BAK Lars Ytting Lotto Belisol ,,
123 SABATINI Fabio Cannondale 20:45
124 FEILLU Romain Bretagne РS̩ch̩ Environnement 21:28
125 STEEGMANS Gert Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 22:07
126 KNEES Christian Team Sky ,,
127 HONDO Danilo Trek Factory Racing ,,
128 SINKELDAM Ramon Team Giant-Shimano ,,
129 VON HOFF Steele Garmin Sharp ,,
130 PHINNEY Taylor BMC Racing Team ,,
131 FARRAR Tyler Garmin Sharp ,,
132 SARAMOTINS Aleksejs IAM Cycling ,,
133 TURGOT Sébastien AG2R La Mondiale ,,
134 SZMYD Sylwester Movistar Team ,,
135 LEMOINE Cyril Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ,,
136 NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas Garmin Sharp ,,
137 ENGOULVENT Jimmy Team Europcar ,,
138 FOUCHARD Julien Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ,,
139 TRUSOV Nikolay Tinkoff-Saxo ,,
140 FONSECA Armindo Bretagne РS̩ch̩ Environnement ,,
141 TIMMER Albert Team Giant-Shimano ,,
142 BOL Jetse Belkin-Pro Cycling Team ,,
143 LABORIE Christophe Bretagne РS̩ch̩ Environnement ,,
144 LIGTHART Pim Lotto Belisol ,,
145 ROVNY Ivan Tinkoff-Saxo ,,
146 COUSIN Jérôme Team Europcar ,,
147 SIMON Julien Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ,,
148 ALBASINI Michael Orica GreenEDGE ,,
149 DOCKER Mitchell Orica GreenEDGE ,,
150 GOSS Matthew Orica GreenEDGE ,,
151 FRANK Mathias IAM Cycling ,,
152 RASCH Gabriel Team Sky ,,
153 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald Team Sky ,,
154 VAN EMDEN Jos Belkin-Pro Cycling Team ,,
155 SOUPE Geoffrey ,,
156 CHAVANEL Sébastien ,,
DNF GUTIéRREZ Iván Movistar Team –

1 BETANCUR Carlos AG2R La Mondiale 32:04:49
2 COSTA Rui Lampre – Merida 00:14
3 STYBAR Zdenek Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 00:26
4 ROJAS José Joaquin Movistar Team 00:27
5 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team 00:29
6 VICHOT Arthur 00:31
7 GAUTIER Cyril Team Europcar 00:35
8 DENIFL Stefan IAM Cycling ,,
9 VELITS Peter BMC Racing Team 00:39
10 SPILAK Simon Team Katusha ,,
11 BAKELANTS Jan Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 00:40
12 GALLOPIN Tony Lotto Belisol 00:41
13 REICHENBACH Sebastien IAM Cycling 00:46
14 IZAGIRRE Gorka Movistar Team 00:50
15 JUNGELS Bob Trek Factory Racing 00:57
16 KELDERMAN Wilco Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 01:05
17 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 01:09
18 MONFORT Maxime Lotto Belisol ,,
19 CARUSO Damiano Cannondale 01:12
20 JEANNESSON Arnold 01:29



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