Saturday March 15th, 2014

Stage 7Mougins / Biot Sophia Antipolis

Start 11h50 (Local time)

Key moments

Stage summary15.03.2014 in 17:33Slagter forgets trouble with double

Spurred by an untimely mechanical in the previous stage, Tom-Jelte Slagter (GRS) hit back to snatch his second stage victory in this Paris-Nice, surging 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).

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interview15.03.2014 in 17:54Vincent Lavenu: "Very important for us to win Paris-Nice"

"Obviously Lampre proved they were strong today by working for Rui Costa.They are the toughest team and the one  we will have to check most closely. The pressure was enormous today but I guess we managed to control the race pretty well. Romain Bardet again did a hell of a job in the finale. I hope Carlos will be as strong as he has been all week. It's very important for us to win Paris-Nice, because it's a race we never managed to win in the many years we've been around."

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interview15.03.2014 in 17:48Carlos Betancur: "Still a dream"

"We spent a very tough day, 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 guards 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."

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interview15.03.2014 in 17:42Slagter: "The best possible revenge"

"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...

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Sporting stakes14.03.2014 in 17:10AG2R and Sky to battle it out

Winner of the last two stages of this Paris-Nice, Carlos Betancur (ALM) looks the most solid leader of the race since it started in Mantes-la-Jolie last Sunday. Yet his advantage over Geraint Thomas (SKY) remains slimmest with only eight seconds, which could easily be taken back  on the six climbs of the day, including two first category ascents – Col de Vence and Col de l'Ecre. The battle whole day might well be between two of the strongest teams in this edition, AG2R and Team Sky....

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16:56Top five overall standings

Top five overall standings after stage 7:

1. Carlos Betancur (ALM)

2. Rui Costa (LAM)  14 seconds behind

3. Zdenek Stybar (OPQ) 26 secs

4. Jose Jaquin Rojas (MOV) 27 secs

5. Jakob Fuglsang (AST) 29 secs.

16:54Top five placings

Top five placings in the 195.5 kms seventh stage of Paris-Nice in Biot Sophia-Antipolis:

1. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Netherlands, GRS)

2. Rui Costa (Portugal, LAM)

3. Carlos Betancur (Colombia, ALM)

4. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spain, MOV)

5. Arthur Vichot (France, FDJ)

16:51Slagter wins stage 7

Tom-Jelte Slagter (GRS) wins the 195.5-kms 7th stage of Paris-Nice. Rui Costa (LAM) was second and Carlos Betancur (ALM) was second.

16:49Nibali attacks

Vincenzo Nibali (AST) attacks in the finale.

16:48Packed bunch

Romain Bardet (AG2R) leads the bunch until the last kilometre.

16:48Devenyns leads

Dries Devenyns (GIA) leads on his own under the red flame.

16:472 kms to go...

... and the bunch is packed again.

16:46Fuglsang attacks

Three kilometres to go and Jakob Fuglsang (AST) attacks in turn. The Dane lies 6th overall, 25 seconds behind Carlos Betancur.

16:45Thomas back on his bike

Race leader for two days, Thomas is back on his bike but he lost considerable time. He was second, eight seconds behind Carlos Betancur, at the start of the stage.

16:44Geraint Thomas crashed

Geraint Thomas (SKY) crashed and is on the tarmac, holding his collarbone. Franck Schleck (TFR) and Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ) were also involved in the crash.

16:435 kms to go...

... and two Lampre riders still lead the way. Carlos Betancur, French chapion Arthur Vichot (FDJ) and Rui Costa are well-placed.

16:40Lampre now lead the bunch

Jose Serpa (LAM) and a Lampre team-mate have seized the reins of the peloton, working for world champion Rui Costa.

16:36Chavanel attacks again

Umptenth attack by Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) with 10 kms to go.

16:34Gavazzi in the lead

12 kms to go and Francesco Gavazzi (AST) has surged on his own.

16:34Tremendous work by AG2R

Led by Romain Bardet, team AG2R perfectly control the peloton, and yellow jersey holder Carlos Betancur looks very easy.

16:32Two men in the lead

13 kms to go and Tim Wellens (LTB) and Jose Serpa (LAM) are now in the lead.

16:2915 kms to go...

... and the peloton is packed again.

16:26Feline alone in front

After the second passage on the line, Fabio Felline (TFR) was alone in the lead, his former breakaway companions haveing been caught.

16:2220 kms to go

... and the nine, led by an hyperactive Chavanel, retain a slim ten seconds lead over the chasing bunch.

16:21Degenkolb dropped

Green jersey holder John Degenkolb (GIA) changed bikes after a mechanical.

16:18Nine men in the lead

Nine riders are on the move again with 27 kms to go: Alex Howe (GRS), Sylvain Chavanel (IAM), Feancesco Gavazzi 5AST) Jan  Bakelants (OPQ) , Fabio Felline (TFR), John Gadret (MOV), Yuri Trofimov (KAT), Angel Mate (COF), Nicki Sorensen (TCS). They lead the peloton by 18 seconds.

16:11The five caught

The five were reined in.

16:1030 kms to go...

... and five other riders try their luck in turn.

16:07Break OVER

The eight escapees were reined in by the peloton.

16:06Eight men in the lead

Km 161 - Eight men are in the lead, including Thomas Voeckler (EUC), Sylvain Chavanel (IAM), David Lopez Garcia (SKY) and ALessandro De Marchi (CAN).

16:02Lopez in the lead

David Lopez (SKY) is now alone in the lead with 35.5 kms to go.

16:01Westra caught

Lieuwe Westra (AST) was caught shortly after the sprint.

16:00Result of the second print

Km 158 - Biot-Sophia-Antipolis (1st passage)

1. Lieuwe Westra (AST) Three seocnds, threee points

2. Rui Costa (LAM) 2 secs, 2 points

3. Jose Joaquin Rojas (MOV) 1 sec, 1 pt

15:54All caught except Westra

Westra is the last man out and maintains a 20 seconds lead over the peloton with 40 kms to go.

15:51Westra on his own

Km 152 - Lieuwe Westra (AST) dropped Lemoine and Guillou and leads the chasing peloton by 15 seconds.

15:48Junction looming

Lieuwe Westra (AST), Cyril Lemoine (COF) and Florian Guillou (BSE) insist as the junction is about to take place.

15:4250 kms to go...

... and Lieuwe Westra (AST), Pim Ligthart (LTB) Laurent Didier (TFR), Sylvester Szmyd (MOV), Albert Timmer (GIA), Florian Guillou (BSE), Matthias Frank (IAM) and Cyril Lemoine (COF) only lead the bunch by 40 seconds.

15:41Lionel Marie (GIA) - We'll see after the first passage

Giant Shimano team director Lionel Marie told his views about the finale: "We'll see after the first passage on the line to see whether John (Degenkolb) will be able to stay with the best on the hills around Biot. In my opinion, it will be too hard but we'll see. That's the reason why Europcar are leading now, they want to lead out Bryan Coquard for the stage victory. For us, the real threat for the green jersey is Carlos Berancur."

15:35Gap down to 1:10

Km 138 - Europcar lead the chase and bring the peloton back to 1:10 behind the escapees. Bryan Coquard looks really ambitious for today's finale.

15:31Ligthart solid polka-dot leader

Pim Ligthart (LTB) collected all 32 points on offer today and now has 41 points in the mountain standings. 

15:29Results on Cote de Gourdon

Km 131 - Cote de Gourdon (2nd cat)

1. Pim Lightart (LTB) 7 points

2. Mathias Frank (IAM) 5 points

3. Lieuwe Westra (AST) 3 points

4. Cyril Lemoine (COF) 2 points

5. Albert Timmer (GIA) 1 point

The peloton 1:40 behind

15:20The race in Cote de Gourdon

The break and the peloton are in the second-category Cote de Gourdon, the last ascent on the day's menu (top at km 131). The last gap is 2:20.

15:10Results on Cote de Cipieres

Km 120 - Cote de Cipieres (3rd cat)

1. Pim Ligthart (LTB) 4 points

2. Mathias Frank (IAM) 2 points

3. Sylvester Szmyd (MOV) 1 points

15:07Franck Pineau - "Arthur will look for bonus seconds" team director Franck Pineau talked to about Arthur Vichot's chances to improve his position overall in today's stage: "It's true that the gaps are tight and that some riders are within reach for Arthur. Today he must look for bonus seconds because his rivals are not riders you can take by surprise. What's certain is that he is in great condition, he showed yesterday he had the legs and was taking responsibilities. He had the instinct to attack and it helped him...

14:44Gap down to 2:50

Km 100 - Lieuwe Westra (AST), Pim Ligthart (LTB) Laurent Didier (TFR), Sylvester Szmyd (MOV), Albert Timmer (GIA), Florian Guillou (BSE), Mathias Frank (IAM) and Cyril Lemoine (COF) lead the peloton by 2:50.

14:35Guttierez calls it quits

Jose Ivan Guttierez (MOV) gave up in the feeding zone (km 89).

14:25Feillu caught by the peloton

The peloton reached the top of Col de l'Ecre (km85) 3:35 behind the eight escapees. Brice Feillu was caught by the main bunch.

14:24Results on Col de l'Ecre

Km 85 - Col de l'Ecre (1st cat)

1. Pim Ligthart (LTB)) 10 points

2. Mathias Frank (IAM) 8 points

3. Laurent Didier (TFR) 6 points

4. Lieuwe Westra (AST) 4 points

5. Sylvester Szmyd (MOV) 3 points

6. Florian Guillou (BSE) 2 points

7. Albert Timmer (GIA) 1 point

14:05Eight men in the lead

Km 79 - In Col de l'Ecre, Brice Feillu (BSE) was dropped by his former breakaway companions. Eight men left in the lead.

13:55Gap down to 3:20

Km 75 - The gap between the nine escapees and the peloton now down to 3:20. Carlos Betancur's AG2R team-mates are still leading the chase.

13:53Average speed 37.5 kph

The average speed in the second hour of the stage was 33.3 kph for an overall speed of 37.5 kph.

13:45Latest gap 4:00

Km 67.5 - The peloton trailed the nine escapees by four minutes at the top of Cote de Cipieres.

13:44Ligthart leads the mountain classification

Pim Lightart (LTB) now leads the mountain classification on 23 points with a three points lead over Sylvain Chavanel (IAM).

13:42Results on Cote de Cipieres

Km 67.5 - Cote de Cipieres (3rd cat)

1. Pim Ligthart (LTB) 4 points

2. Mathias Frank (IAM) 2 points

3. Brice Feillu (BSE) 1 point

13:175:35 at the top

Km 49 - The peloton was 5:35 behind the nine escapees at the top of Col de Vence.

13:16Ligthart threatens Chavanel

Pim Ligthart (LTB) is now on 19 points in the mountain classification, only one point behind current polka-dot jersey holder Sylvain Chavanel (IAM). The Dutchman collected nine points in yesterday's stage. Chavanel's team-mate Mathias Frank tried to stop him collect the 10 point on Col de Vence but failed. 

13:14Results on Col de Vence

Km 49 - Col de Vence (1st cat)

1. Pim Lighart (LTB)) 10 points

2. Mathias Frank (IAM) 8

3. Florian Guillou (BSE) 6 points

4. Laurent Didier (TFR) 4 points

5. Albert Timmer (GIA) 3 points

6. Lieuwe Westra (AST) 2 points

7. Brice Feilllu(BSE) 1 point

12:51Average speed 41.7 kph

The average speed in the first hour of the stage was 41.7 kph.

12:49Nine men in the lead

Km 41 - As the three chasers join the six escapees, nine men are now in the lead. They are Lieuwe Westra (AST), Pim Ligthart (LTB) Laurent Didier (TFR), Sylvester Szmyd (MOV), Albert Timmer (GIA), Florian Guillou (BSE), Matthias Frank (IAM), Brice Feillu (BSE) and Cyril Lemoine (COF).

12:46Polka-dot jersey threatened

Ducthman Pim Ligthart (LTP) could be a threat to polka-dot jersey holder Sylvain Chavanel (IAM). Should he be first at the top of Col de Vence, he would find himself on 19 points against 20 for the Frenchman. 

12:44Gap up to 5:40

The gap between the six escapees and the bunch on the sprint line was 5:40. The peloton is led by AG2R riders.

12:39Result of the first sprint

Km 34 - Tourrettes-sur-Loup

1.  Pim Ligthart (LTB) 3 seconds, 3 points

2. Florian Guillou (BSE) 2 seconds, 2 points

3. Laurent Didier (TFR) 1 second, 1 point.

12:38The race in Tourrettes-sur-Loup

The race is in Tourrettes-sur-Loup, a stage finish in 2010. The late Xavier Tondo had won the stage ahead of Alejandro Valverde and Peter Sagan. He died in a domestic accident in 2011.

12:34Yvon Ledanois: "Beware of Rui Costa"

BMC team director Yvon Ledanois talked to about a week of racing: "It was obviously difficult to lose our leader on the first day. It's hard to get the motivation back but we tried to have guys in the breaks like we did yesterday but it didn't always work. Today is a very tricky stage that should not be taken lightly especially as many riders are tired. The pace was incredibly fast yesterday and some guys could suffer today as a result," he said.
Asked about his...

12:31Marcato dropped

Marco Marcato (CAN) has been dropped from the chasing group as his former companions Mathias Frank (IAM), Brice Feillu (BSE) and Cyril Lemoine (COF) are 35 seconds behind the six escapees.

12:21Gap up to 4:25

Km 19 - Lieuwe Westra (AST), Pim Ligthart (LTB) Laurent Didier (TFR), Sylvester Szmyd (MOV), Albert Timmer (GIA) and Florian Guillou (BSE) lead Matthias Frank (IAM), Marco Marcato (CAN), Brice Feillu (BSE) and Cyril Lemoine (COF) by 45 seconds.

The peloton is 4:25 adrift.

12:19Didier lauunched the break

Luxembourg's Laurent Didier (TFR) was the rider who started today's move. Reminder he is the son of former pro Lucien Didier and the grandson of former Tour de France yellow jersey holder Jean Diederich.

12:16Westra a Paris-Nice specialist

Dutch escapee Lieuwe Westra (AST) came close to winning Paris-Nice to years ago, finishing second to Bradley Wiggins by eight seconds in 2012. That year he won a stage in Mende.

12:07Gap up to 1:30

Km 11 - Lieuwe Westra (AST), Pim Ligthart (LTB) Laurent Didier (TFR), Sylvester Szmyd (MOV), Albert Timmer (GIA) and Florian Guillou (BSE) lead the four chasers by 30 seconds and the peloton by 1:30.

12:03Moinard back in the bunch

Km 10 - Amael Moinard (BMC) has been caught back by the bunch. Four mean are chasing behind the six escapees.

11:59Situation of the race

Km 4 - Lieuwe Westra (AST), Pim Ligthart (LTB) Laurent Didier (TFR), Sylvester Szmyd (MOV), Albert Timmer (GIA) and Florian Guillou (BSE) lead Matthias Frank (IAM), Marco Marcato (CAN), Brice Feillu (BSE), Amael Moinard (BMC) and Cyril Lemoine (COF) by 15 seconds.

The peloton 32 seconds behind.

11:56The six in the lead

The six in the lead are Lieuwe Westra (AST), Pim Ligthart (LTB) Laurent Didier (TFR), Sylvester Szmyd (MOV), Albert Timmer (GIA) and Florian Guillou (BSE). They are chased by four riders.

11:53Six men in the lead

Six riders broke clear from the gun. They hold a 22 seconds lead over the peloton.

11:52In the press today

In local paper Nice-Matin, Amael Moinard (BMC) explains what to expect on the roads of stage 7 on which he trains daily in the mid-season.
"It's going to be a tough battle from the start. There's almost no flat bit, almost no straight lines, it's not easy to chase down breaks.  In Col de Vence, a bunch of strong men will probably go. And it will be a hard stage to control for any one team."
On a personal level, the Frenchman, winner of a stage in Nice in 2010, would love to shine...

11:51Start given

The start was given at 11:50 to 157 riders.

11:46Jersey holders

Two stage wins in two days were enough for Carlos Betancur (AG2R) to topple Geraint Thomas (SKY), but the Briton limited the damage and is only eight seconds off the pace. World champion Rui Costa missed stage victory by the blink of an eye in Fayence but still progressed to third overall, 18 seconds behind the Colombian, an ideal position to wait and see in the two weekend stages.
John Degenkolb (GIA) is a solid points leader on 41 points but a new stage win would bring Betancur one...

11:40Climbs of the day:

Km 49 - Col de Vence (1st cat)

Km 67.5 - Cote de Cipieres (3rd cat)

Km 85 - Col de l'Ecre (1st cat)

Km 131 - Cote de Gourdon (2nd cat)

11:39Sprints of the day

Km 34 - Tourrettes-sur-Loup
Km 158 - Biot Sophia-Antipolis (1st passage)

11:35Welcome on Stage 7

Welcome on the 195.5-km 7th stage of Paris-Nice between Mougins and Biot Sophia-Antipolis.


Jersey wearers after the stage 8

Classifications after the stage 8


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