Saturday 14 March 2015 - 17:05

Paris-Nice Stage 6: Kwiato 14th in Action Packed Mountain Stage

Paris-Nice Stage 6: Kwiato 14th in Action Packed Mountain Stage

Etixx - Quick-Step rider Michal Kwiatkowski tried multiple times to put distance between himself and Team Sky teammates Richie Porte & Geraint Thomas. With the support of Julian Alaphilippe, Tony Martin, and Michal Golas, the Polish rider was able to temporarily get a gap on the duo as they trailed him by mere seconds in the GC heading into the 181.5km 6th Stage of Paris-Nice, from Vence to Nice, on Saturday.

But Kwiatkowski was unable to stay away from the two riders, and Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) went on to a solo victory that gave him the race lead.

Kwiatkowski bravely led a group back to Thomas and Porte as each rider crashed on the long descent to the finish line, after attempting to distance the UCI World Road Champion. All three riders finished in a 3rd group behind Gallopin. Simon Spilak (Katusha) and Rui Costa (Movistar) finished 2nd and 3rd out of the first chase group.

Gallopin now leads Porte in the GC by 36", and Kwiatkowski by 37" in the GC. The time differences among the GC contenders should make for a very exciting 9.6km final mountain TT, from Nice to Col d'Èze (4.7%), on Sunday.

"As a team we were trying to make the race really hard," Kwiatkowski said. "We were hoping to distance Thomas and Porte to have maybe have a time advantage going into tomorrow. But, Gallopin was the strongest today and he deserved to win the stage. I crossed the line with Porte and Thomas and OK, now I am 3rd in the GC. I am really happy with what the team did today. They were amazing today riding in the front, trying to always accelerate on the descent and really push it. I always had the advantage after the descents because of their efforts. At the end maybe I didn't have the same energy I had in the middle of the stage, but it was good to try and see what we could do today and I can learn from this experience. This race is not over yet. A lot can happen in a an uphill time trial, even if it is only 9.6 kilometers. I will try to finish strong and the race is still open."

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