Paris-Nice – Gallopin Gallops to Solo Win


As Yellow jersey said Kwiatkowski , “while two dogs were fighting for a bone, a third runs away with it” Lotto’s Tony Gallopin 

RST Cycle  Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Paris-Nice – Gallopin Gallops to Solo Win


Tony Gallopin boldly took advantage of the wet conditions and his knowledge of the terrain to seize the reins of Paris-Nice after a remarkable effort on the penultimate stage in the Nice hinterland on Saturday. The Frenchman, winner on his own on a rain-soaked Promenade des Anglais, will carry a 36-seconds lead over 2013 winner Richie Porte into tomorrow’s time-trial up Col d’Eze with the hope of becoming the first local rider to win the event since Laurent Jalabert in 1997.


“I’m really happy with this stage win. It’s an incredible victory, I didn’t expect this scenario. Before the start I thought we would go to the finish line with a group of about fifteen riders and sprint for the win. The weather conditions made the race harder than expected and then there was the big break with Tim. That made the peloton nervous. It rained and it was very cold, but that didn’t bother me. In the descent of the Col Saint-Roch I followed Kwiatkowski and his teammates and we bridged to the leaders.”

“Paris-Nice is my first goal this season and it’s marvellous that I win a stage here. It has been a successful stage race so far for the whole team with two stage wins, the polka dot jersey and me in the running for the overall victory. The legs felt great today. With five kilometres to go I realized that I was close to the stage win. I gave all I got till the end to have as much lead in the GC as possible. The people in the team car motivated me. I don’t know what to expect tomorrow. It will be difficult against those specialists, but I’ll do my best that’s for sure.”

Raindrops, attacks, crashes; the 192-kms ride between Vence and Nice was spectacular and the fierce battle between Porte, his Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas and yellow-jersey holder Michal Kwiatkowski finally favoured Gallopin, now in an ideal position top to sweep the board.

Eager to secure his polka-dot jersey, Thomas De Gendt (LTS) surged after three kilometers, taking 13 other riders on his heels. The 14 were quickly chased by another bunch of 15, who caught up with them halfway up Cote de Vence. In the meantime, the few sprinters who were part of the break lost ground while another group of seven riders, led by Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) edged closer. De Gendt collected the ten points available in Vence and a regrouping of 31 riders took place in the descent at kilometre 48.

While De Gendt strengthened his KOM lead along the way, several sprinters like Bryan Coquard (EUC) or Nacer Bouhanni (COF) decided to call it quits not to take any chances on roads made slippery by the rain. The lead of the 31 topped at 2:55 at kilometer 80. His polka-dot jersey secured, De Gendt eased off as the leading group started to split in the descent of Cote de Chateauneuf while Sylvain Chavanel raised the tempo.

At the foot of Cote de Coaraze (Km 118), yellow jersey holder Michal Kwiatkowski launched a bold move with Etixx Quick Step team-mates Tony Martin, Julian Alaphilippe and Michal Golas in order to surprise his nearest rivals, Team Sky’s Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas.

They held a 40 second lead but were later reined in on the climb. On the first category Col Saint-Roch, the leading group split, leaving only ten riders in the front: Bakelants (ALM), Jon Izaguirre (MOV), Gautier (EUC), Yates (OGE), Chavanel (IAM), Wellens (LTS), Edet and Mate (COF), Valgren (TCS) and Bauer (TCG).

Kwiatkowski again attempted to put pressure on Porte and Thomas by speeding down the descent along with Martin, Alaphilippe and Tony Gallopin. The four caught what remained of the break with 40 kms to go. At that stage, Porte, Thomas and the other favourites were 35 seconds behind the world champion. Ten kilometres later after a brave effort by Geraint Thomas, their group had quashed the world champion’s attempt once again.

The Cote de Peille sorted the men from the boys. Worn out by his two attacks, Kwiatkowski lost ground when Porte attacked, quickly followed by Thomas. With 25 kms to go, Tony Gallopin went on his own and rapidly took a substantial lead. At the top of the climb (km 158.5) he led a group including Rui Costa, Valls, Fuglsang, Porte, Thomas and Spilak by 25 seconds and the group featuring Kwiatkoskwi, Vichot, Izaguirre, Edet, Valgren and Chavanel by 40 seconds.

On the descent, as the yellow jersey looked set to change hands, Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas both crashed in turn with 18 km to go and were chased down by the Kwiatkowski group. The fight for the yellow jersey had been intense but fruitless and it favoured Gallopin, who increased his lead in the long descent to Nice with Rui Costa, Valls, Fuglsang and Spilak 25 seconds behind him and the three leaders of the GC nearly a minute behind.

Former yellow jersey Michal Kwiatkowski said afterward “As a team we were trying to make the race really hard,” Kwiatkowski said. “We were hoping to distance Thomas and Porte to have maybe have a time advantage going into tomorrow. But, Gallopin was the strongest today and he deserved to win the stage. I crossed the line with Porte and Thomas and OK, now I am 3rd in the GC.”

“I am really happy with what the team did today. They were amazing today riding in the front, trying to always accelerate on the descent and really push it. I always had the advantage after the descents because of their efforts. At the end maybe I didn’t have the same energy I had in the middle of the stage, but it was good to try and see what we could do today and I can learn from this experience. This race is not over yet. A lot can happen in a an uphill time trial, even if it is only 9.6 kilometers. I will try to finish strong and the race is still open.”

1. Tony Gallopin, Lotto Soudal 4:52:57
2. Simon Spilak, Team Katusha 0:00:32
3. Rui Costa, Lampre-Merida
4. Jakob Fuglsang, Astana Pro Team
5. Rafael Valls Ferri, Lampre-Merida 0:00:35
6. Michael Valgren Andersen, Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:00
7. Tim Wellens, Lotto Soudal
8. Sylvain Chavanel, IAM Cycling
9. Arthur Vichot,
10. Nicolas Edet, Cofidis, Solutions Credits

12. Richie Porte, Team Sky
13. Geraint Thomas, Team Sky
14. Michal Kwiatkowski, Etixx – Quick-Step 0:01:02
15. Romain Bardet, AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:17
20. Philippe Gilbert, BMC Racing Team 0:04:57
21. Tejay Van Garderen, BMC Racing Team
22. Ben Swift, Team Sky
29. Jack Bauer, Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:09:41
42. Nicolas Roche, Team Sky 0:15:15
43. Simon Yates, Orica GreenEdge
44. Thomas Voeckler,Team Europcar 0:16:14
96. Luke Rowe, Team Sky @27.00
103. Bradley Wiggins, Team Sky
1. Tony Gallopin, Lotto Soudal 28:49:42
2. Richie Porte, Team Sky 0:00:36
3. Michal Kwiatkowski, Etixx – Quick-Step 0:00:37
4. Geraint Thomas, Team Sky 0:00:38
5. Jakob Fuglsang, Astana Pro Team
6. Rui Costa, Lampre-Merida 0:00:42
7. Simon Spilak, Team Katusha 0:00:53
8. Rafael Valls Ferri, Lampre-Merida 0:01:01
9. Gorka Izagirre,Movistar Team 0:01:19
10. Tim Wellens, Lotto Soudal 0:02:00

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: , ,