Race report

Fast and chaotic finale after long day in the saddle at Paris-Nice


Photo Credit: Cor Vos

After yesterday’s stage in the hills, today’s route gave the sprinters a chance to fight for stage glory once again, with a flat finale in the town of Bollène. Given the strong headwind the peloton was faced with, there were no attacks at all throughout the stage, with the bunch happy to roll along together and conserve energy for the finale. At the opening intermediate sprint Jasha Sütterlin did a good teammates job, winning the sprint to take away bonus seconds from the team’s GC competitors.

Heading into the finale, the team did well to bring Cees Bol towards the front of the bunch for the two climbs in the closing 30 kilometres. On the last ascent, the team took up a position at the lead of the peloton, with birthday-boy Tiesj Benoot managing to take advantage of the race being together and taking one bonus second at the final intermediate sprint.

After that point the race calmed, before the tempo massively increased in the final five kilometres. Initially the team were in a great position towards the front of the group but as the proverbial ‘washing machine’ effect took place, it became hard for them to remain in the first ten positions. Nils Eekhoff and Casper Pedersen attempted to move Bol back to the front but their efforts were thwarted, and they were blocked in, with Bol unable to sprint in the end.

“It was a headwind the whole day, which made it a long day in the saddle and kind of boring during the stage,” explained Bol at the finish. “We did a good job to remain switched on throughout the day though. Until four kilometres to go it went to plan for us but it was a hectic sprint in the finale with a lot of fresh guys. When we tried to move out for the finish we couldn’t so in the end we didn’t manage to get a result today.”

Team DSM coach Marc Reef added: “The goal today for us was to go for Cees at the finish. It was a really easy day with no breakaway and was quite a strange day. We managed to stay together during the day which was good. Heading towards the final it became more nervous as a few teams thought it might split, but it stayed together. Tiesj managed to take one bonus second at the intermediate sprint which was good. We were together in position heading into the last kilometres but at two kilometres to go we were boxed in too much. Cees wasn’t able to get out so in the end we don’t have a result to show for today. That’s of course disappointing and we have some things to improve but we came through the day in a good way, and we’re looking forward to a hard final three days of racing here.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 BENNETT Sam Deceuninck - Quick Step 5:16:01 60
2 BOUHANNI Nacer Team Arkéa Samsic ,, 25
3 ACKERMANN Pascal BORA - hansgrohe ,, 10
23 BOL Cees Team DSM ,, -
37 BENOOT Tiesj Team DSM ,, -
53 PEDERSEN Casper Team DSM ,, -
68 HINDLEY Jai Team DSM ,, -
76 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM ,, -
79 SÜTTERLIN Jasha Team DSM ,, -