Burgaudeau’s first is a thriller

March 11 th 2022 - 16:22

Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies) took his first professional victory in spectacular fashion on Friday, as he narrowly edged the sprinters in Aubagne, after 213.6km from Courthézon to Aubagne. The peloton controlled stage 6 all day long but the 23 year-old Frenchman managed to go solo inside the last 10km and to fend off Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) on the line. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) survived the traps of the day to hold on to the yellow and white jersey ahead of the decisive week-end, with a summit finish at Col de Turini on Saturday.

A 115-man peloton take the early start from Courthézon after 6 riders abandon at the start of stage 6: Simon Geschke (Cofidis), Dmitriy Gruzdev (Astana-Qazaqstan), Markus Hoelgaard (Trek-Segafredo), Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange-Jayco), Baptiste Planckaert (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix). After a 12km battle, Johan Jacobs (Movistar) is the first attacker to make the break. The leader of the KOM standings Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), Yevgeniy Fedorov (Astana-Qazaqstan), Julius van den Berg (EF Education-Easypost) and Victor Koretzky (B&B Hotels-KTM) join him at km 14.

The peloton quickly react

Sébastien Grignard (Lotto Soudal) also sets off in pursuit and bridges the gap on the first slopes of the Col de Murs (cat. 2), to be summited at km 36.8. The attackers cover 35km in the first hour of racing to build a lead of 4’30’’. Madouas takes the KOM points at the summit to tighten his grip on the polka dot jersey.

Mads Pedersen’s Trek-Segafredo are the first team to react, sending Julien Bernard at the front of the bunch to control the gap. The attackers’ advantage never gets higher than 4’55’’ at km 46. Bryan Coquard’s Cofidis and Biniam Girmay’s Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux also pull the bunch on the valley to bring the gap down to 3’20’’ ahead of the second ascent of the day, Col de Sambuc (cat. 2). Madouas takes 5 KOM points at the summit (km 122.3), and 3 more at Col des Portes (km 131.1).

Attacks on the climb of l'Espigoulier...

The pace is hard despite headwinds blowing from the South-East. This is too much for Grignard, dropped by his breakaway companions with 60km to go. The gap to the bunch is down to 1’45’’ a the bottom of the penultimate climb of the day, Col de Pas de la Couelle. Madouas keeps sweeping the points at the summit (53km to go).

The intensity keeps rising on the way to the final ascent of the day, the cat-1 Col de l’Espigoulier  (10.8km, 4.4%). At the bottom, the early attackers are only 1 minute ahead of the peloton. Jacobs attacks and quickly drops everyone but Koretzky. Matthew Holmes bridges the gap from the peloton to the leading duo 6km away from the summit. Julien Bernard is still there to set the pace for Trek-Segafredo. Holmes goes first over the top (28.3km to go) but the peloton only trail by 5’’. The attackers are caught with 27km to go.

... and in an unbridled finale

Soren Kragh Andersen (Team DSM) accelerates on the downhill and splits appear 23km away from the finish. The Dane has a lead of 10’’ at the bottom of the downhill, but Trek-Segafredo reel him in with 15.5km to go. Attacks keep going and Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies) goes solo with 9km to go.

The gap gets as high as 20’’ with 4km to go but it drops down to under 5’’ for the last kilometre! Mads Pedersen launches a powerful sprint but Burgaudeau fends him off by a bike length on the line!

11/03/2022 - Paris Nice - Etape 6 - Courthézon / Aubagne (213,6km) -
11/03/2022 - Paris Nice - Etape 6 - Courthézon / Aubagne (213,6km) - © A.S.O./Alex Broadway
11/03/2022 - Paris Nice - Etape 6 - Courthézon / Aubagne (213,6km) -
11/03/2022 - Paris Nice - Etape 6 - Courthézon / Aubagne (213,6km) - © A.S.O./Alex Broadway
11/03/2022 - Paris Nice - Etape 6 - Courthézon / Aubagne (213,6km) - L'échappée
11/03/2022 - Paris Nice - Etape 6 - Courthézon / Aubagne (213,6km) - L'échappée © A.S.O./Alex Broadway

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