24yo Orica-Scott climbing sensation Simon Yates made a devastating attack to solo the final 18km of stage six of Paris-Nice – and earn a stage victory for his efforts.
Catching some of the world’s top climbers off-guard as they crested the penultimate climb of the day, Yates hit them hard to secure the stage and move to 8th place overall, 1m37s back from leader Julian Alaphillipe.
“I was still quite far down in the general classification before today so I had some freedom,” said Yates.
“I expected some guys to come with me and work together for the finish but I found myself on my own. I was just full gas to the finish, I gave everything I had.”
The young Brit said he still a lot of time to take away from Julian Alaphillipe.
“He’s such a phenomenal rider. He’s one of the best riders of our generation,” he said.
“I’ll try again but there’s a long way to go. Today I told myself that if I want to feature in the overall, I have to take some time somewhere. There are still a few difficult days still to come and I can try. La Couillole looks very difficult, I don’t know this climb but I saw the profile. There are still a lot of guys down in the GC so I expect a tough race.”
Porte Back In Action
After a shocking start to the 2017 edition of Paris-Nice, BMC Racing team’s Richie Porte made amends in the mountains to finish 3rd on the stage.
Positive and upbeat, Porte said it was a hard day and he was happy to rebound. “I think it’s good signs for the weekend,” he said.
“Today was such a hard stage that I think tomorrow and Sunday are going to be as well. I think tomorrow suits me better with the longer climbs which will be better for me. We’ll see how it goes. There are still minor placings to go for on the GC.”