Race report

Punchy finale after fast day in the saddle at Paris-Nice


The longest stage of the week awaited the riders today as they rolled out from Brignoles this morning, with an intriguing parcours that featured a lot of climbing in the middle of the stage before a fast final third to the day and a punchy uphill drag to the line.

There was a sense that it could potentially be a good day for the breakaway, so the race exploded with a flurry of attacks from the flag drop. The team were active at the head of the race, with Casper Pedersen notably making it into a group of four riders that got a 20 second gap but they were soon brought to heel. Eventually the elastic snapped and a six rider group broke clear, with all Team DSM riders in the bunch.

Attention switched to staying safe and conserving as much energy for the finale as possible, with the pace drastically increasing in the bunch as the climbing began, thinning down the bunch. The team did a good job to keep Tiesj Benoot and Jai Hindley safe and in a good position heading into the closing ten kilometres. Benoot was to the fore in the finale, but unfortunately got squeezed on the right hand side of the road and wasn’t able to compete for a top result. Nonetheless, both riders finished within the very reduced peloton on the punchy rise to the line, making sure to be on the right side of any splits. After McNulty unfortunately had to abandon during the stage, Benoot moves up to sixth on GC ahead of tomorrow’s mountain top finish on La Colmiane.

“It was a pretty hard day actually,” said Benoot after the stage. “First of all there was a big fight for the breakaway. Then once the break was made, the pace remained high during the stage before the tricky final. I moved up at just the right moment with the help of the guys. I made a mistake on the last climb to not go sit in the first line. I was seventh or eighth with 500 metres to go but got squeezed and had to brake twice so couldn’t do my sprint actually, but the legs were quite good though. We’ll see what the weekend brings for the GC with the change in parcours but the legs are good and that’s the most important thing.”

Team DSM coach Marc Reef added: “Stage six of Paris-Nice was a hard stage as it was up and down all day. We focused on trying to get in the bigger breaks and then on the final with Tiesj. Eventually, a break of six guys got clear after a long fight in the first 50 kilometres. Our focus was then on Tiesj and we managed to get him in a good position in the final. Unfortunately, he got blocked on the right side when he wanted to move up so wasn’t able to get a top result today. Still, we finished on the same time as the group and moved up one spot on GC to sixth. Tomorrow is the La Colmiane finish where Tiesj was second so we look with confidence to that stage and we’ll see what it brings.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 ROGLIČ Primož Team Jumbo-Visma 4:40:22 60
2 LAPORTE Christophe Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ,, 25
3 MATTHEWS Michael Team BikeExchange ,, 10
18 BENOOT Tiesj Team DSM ,, -
30 HINDLEY Jai Team DSM ,, -
84 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM 3:33 -
113 PEDERSEN Casper Team DSM 9:00 -
139 BOL Cees Team DSM 16:39 -
142 SÜTTERLIN Jasha Team DSM 26:58 -