All posts in Paris-Nice

Ever wonder what it’s like to ride in the team car at a Pro Tour race? This video will give you some idea. The BMC team car navigates its way through the caravan at high speed on tricky, narrow roads to get up to their rider Jeff Louder for a bike change. It is also a great example of a smooth bike change, “Take your front wheel Jeff, take your front wheel!”

Revealed as the best young rider in the Race to the Sun in 2006, Luis Leon Sanchez won the 67th Paris-Nice race on Sunday, proving he had come of age and reached a new stage in his career.

The 119 km final stage around Nice, with its three classic climbs – Col de la Porte, La Turbie and Col d’Eze, was as exciting as the race had been since the start in Amilly thanks to Alberto Contador, who launched a brave but unsuccessful attempt to salvage his pride after losing the yellow jersey to Sanchez the previous day. The 2007 Paris-Nice and Tour de France winner attacked at the foot of the Col de la Porte and stayed in the front until the Col d’Eze. In the long descent towards Nice, he was joined by Antonio Colom, who won the final stage ahead of him, and Frank Schleck, whose Saxo Bank teammates led the chase all day.

Winner of the first and 6th stage, Contador was the main animator of this year’s race but Sanchez amply deserved his victory with a one-minute lead over Schleck and 1:09 over Sylvain Chavanel, who was unlucky to see his chain snap in the last descent.

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Final General Classification:

1. SANCHEZ Luis-Leon 68 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 30h 53′ 51″
2. SCHLECK Frank 81 TEAM SAXO BANK 30h 54′ 51″ + 01′ 00″
3. CHAVANEL Sylvain 41 QUICK STEP 30h 55′ 00″ + 01′ 09″
4. CONTADOR Alberto 51 ASTANA 30h 55′ 15″ + 01′ 24″
5. COLOM Antonio 141 TEAM KATUSHA 30h 55′ 38″ + 01′ 47″
6. VOIGT Jens 88 TEAM SAXO BANK 30h 55′ 50″ + 01′ 59″
7. SEELDRAYERS Kevin 46 QUICK STEP 30h 56′ 20″ + 02′ 29″
8. HIVERT Jonathan 191 SKIL-SHIMANO 30h 56′ 48″ + 02′ 57″
9. TROFIMOV Yury 137 BBOX BOUYGUES TELECOM 30h 57′ 28″ + 03′ 37″
10. LE MEVEL Christophe 76 FRANCAISE DES JEUX 30h 57′ 51″ + 04′ 00″

Paris-Nice 2009 is over and it has made for an incredible finish!
We will wait posting results,
until you’ve had a chance to watch the 2 hour recap of the race
on Versus Today @ 4:00 PM till 6:00 PM

Sunday March 15 2009
(Final) Stage 8 Nice – Nice 119 km

The final stage of the race will start and finish on the Promenade des Anglais. The first difficulty will be the Col de la Turbie (7.2 km with 7% average slope) before the Col d’Eze and the downhill to Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Televised on VERSUS:
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
(local times)

What to do,
when it takes so darn long before
Versus finally shows the entire Paris – Nice Race in a 2 hour segment on Sunday.

Attacked by all sides, race leader Alberto Contador suffered a spectacular setback in the 191 km 7th stage of Paris-Nice on Saturday, handing his yellow jersey to Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d’Epargne), who also won the nail-biting battle of Fayence.

Seemingly invincible after his victory on the Montagne de Lure on Friday, Contador cracked completely in the descent from the top of the Col de Bourigaille to the finish, losing ground dramatically after being systematically attacked by Sanchez, Antonio Colom (Katusha), who finished second, Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank) and Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step).

The hard-fought battle finally went Sanchez’s way as the Caisse d’Epargne leader took his third stage victory in the Race to the Sun and his first leader’s spot. Sanchez now leads Chavanel by 1:09 in the overall standings, with Schleck third, 1:21 behind. Contador is fourth, 1:50 off the pace. Tomorrow’s finale around Nice should be quite interesting!
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General Classification after stage 7:

1. SANCHEZ/CAISSE D’EPARGNE 28h 05′ 45″
2. CHAVANEL/QUICK STEP 28h 06′ 54″ + 01′ 09″
3. SCHLECK F/TEAM SAXO BANK 28h 07′ 06″ + 01′ 21″
4. CONTADOR/ASTANA 28h 07′ 35″ + 01′ 50″
5. VOIGT/TEAM SAXO BANK 28h 07′ 44″ + 01′ 59″
6. COLOM/TEAM KATUSHA 28h 08′ 01″ + 02′ 16″
7. SEELDRAYERS/QUICK STEP 28h 08′ 14″ + 02′ 29″
8. HIVERT/SKIL-SHIMANO 28h 08′ 42″ + 02′ 57″
9. TROFIMOV/BBOX BOUYGUES TELECOM 28h 09′ 22″ + 03′ 37″
10. LE MEVEL/FRANCAISE DES JEUX 28h 09′ 45″ + 04′ 00″

As expected, Alberto Contador (Astana) claimed back the yellow jersey he had held after winning the first stage in Amilly thanks to another climbing lesson on the 1st category climb that closed today’s stage. The Spaniard won the 182.5 km sixth stage on his own after surging six kilometers from the top of the 1,600 meter high Montagne de Lure.

Contador, the 2007 Paris-Nice winner, crossed the line with a 58 seconds lead over Luxembourg’s Frank Schleck and Spain’s Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d’Epargne) .

France’s Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), who had taken the yellow jersey from the Spaniard in the third stage in Vichy, fought bravely but finished 1:49 behind. He still managed to retain third place overall, 1:24 behind the 2007 Tour de France winner and nine seconds behind Sanchez.

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General Classification after stage 6:

1. CONTADOR/ASTANA 23h 21′ 08″

2. SANCHEZ/CAISSE D’EPARGNE 23h 22′ 21″ + 01′ 13″

3. CHAVANEL/QUICK STEP 23h 22′ 32″ + 01′ 24″

4. SCHLECK F/TEAM SAXO BANK 23h 22′ 46″ + 01′ 38″

5. SEELDRAYERS/QUICK STEP 23h 23′ 09″ + 02′ 01″

6. VOIGT/TEAM SAXO BANK 23h 23′ 14″ + 02′ 06″

7. SANCHEZ/EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 23h 23′ 22″ + 02′ 14″

8. HIVERT/SKIL-SHIMANO 23h 23′ 37″ + 02′ 29″

9. COLOM/TEAM KATUSHA 23h 23′ 43″ + 02′ 35″

10. TROFIMOV/BBOX BOUYGUES TELECOM 23h 24′ 17″ + 03′ 09″

France’s Jeremy Roy (FDJeux) won his maiden pro victory in the 204 km 5th stage of Paris-Nice in Vallon-Pont-d’Arc on Thursday only 24 hours after finishing 150th and last in the previous stage in St Etienne. His spectacular recovery helped the 25-year-old Frenchman, who launched the decisive move after 13 kilometers, beat his breakaway companions Thomas Voeckler (BBox Bouygues) and Tony Martin (Columbia) with a brave surge in the last eight kilometers.
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General Classification after stage 5:
1. CHAVANEL/QUICK STEP 18h 32′ 56″
2. GARATE/RABOBANK 18h 33′ 02″ + 00′ 06″
3. FLECHA/RABOBANK 18h 33′ 32″ + 00′ 36″
4. CONTADOR/ASTANA 18h 33′ 32″ + 00′ 36″
5. SEELDRAYERS/QUICK STEP 18h 33′ 33″ + 00′ 37″
6. SANCHEZ/CAISSE D’EPARGNE 18h 33′ 41″ + 00′ 45″
7. MILLAR/GARMIN – SLIPSTREAM 18h 33′ 46″ + 00′ 50″
8. COLOM/TEAM KATUSHA 18h 33′ 51″ + 00′ 55″
9. KARPETS/TEAM KATUSHA 18h 33′ 53″ + 00′ 57″
10. VOIGT/TEAM SAXO BANK 18h 33′ 59″ + 01′ 03″

Christian Vande Velde avenged a painful start to Paris-Nice when he won the 173.5 km fouth stage of Paris-Nice on his own on Wednesday. The Garmin-Slipstream team leader, whose teammate Bradley Wiggins did not start, attacked 20 km from the classic finish line on the cours Fauriel in St Etienne to score one of the most significant victories in his long career.
Fifth in the Tour de France last summer, Vande Velde had crashed heavily in the opening time trial in Amilly, losing most of his chances for final victory. For today though, the 32-year-old rider from Illinois threw down the gauntlet and took a 14 second win over Jonathan Hivert (Skil Shimano) and
Mirc Lorenzetto (Lampre).
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General Classification after stage 4:
1. CHAVANEL/QUICK STEP 13h 31′ 36
2. GARATE/RABOBANK 13h 31′ 42″ + 00′ 06″
3. FLECHA/RABOBANK 13h 32′ 12″ + 00′ 36″
4. CONTADOR/ASTANA 13h 32′ 12″ + 00′ 36″
5. SEELDRAYERS/QUICK STEP 13h 32′ 13″ + 00′ 37″
6. SANCHEZ/CAISSE D’EPARGNE 13h 32′ 21″ + 00′ 45″
7. MILLAR/GARMIN – SLIPSTREAM 13h 32′ 26″ + 00′ 50″
8. COLOM/TEAM KATUSHA 13h 32′ 31″ + 00′ 55″
9. KARPETS/TEAM KATUSHA 13h 32′ 33″ + 00′ 57″
10. VOIGT/TEAM SAXO BANK 13h 32′ 39″ + 01′ 03″
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Sylvain Chavanel took Paris-Nice by storm in a rainy 178 km third stage from Orval to Vichy, winning his first race in his new Quick Step colors and claiming back the yellow jersey he had held for one day last season. The Frenchman (Quick Step) can thank Dutch team Rabobank, who broke up the peloton with 43 km to go, scattering a frozen bunch all over the place and taking first stage winner and yellow jersey holderAlberto Contador and his Astana teammates off guard.
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General Classification after stage 3:

1. CHAVANEL/QUICK STEP 9h 29′ 24″
2. GARATE / RABOBANK 9h 29′ 57″ + 00′ 33″

3. FLECHA/ RABOBANK 9h 30′ 00″ + 00′ 36″

4. SEELDRAYERS/QUICK STEP 9h 30′ 01″ + 00′ 37″

5. ROELANDTS/SILENCE – LOTTO 9h 30′ 04″ + 00′ 40″
6. CONTADOR /ASTANA 9h 30′ 27″ + 01′ 03″
7. SANCHEZ/CAISSE D’EPARGNE 9h 30′ 36″ + 01′ 12″

8. AUGE / COFIDIS LE CREDIT EN LIGNE 9h 30′ 38″ + 01′ 14″

9. MILLAR/GARMIN – SLIPSTREAM 9h 30′ 41″ + 01′ 17″
10. COLOM/TEAM KATUSHA 9h 30′ 46″ + 01′ 22″