The sprinters stole the spotlight on Stage 6 at Paris-Nice, deciding the honours amongst themselves in Brignoles, while Wilco Kelderman once again finished safely amongst the bunch ahead of tomorrow’s decisive queen stage.
It proved to be stressful in the latter moments of the day’s stage, with changeable wind conditions animating the peloton as teams sought to avoid missing the crucial selection. There were also a series of crashes, one affecting Louis Vervaeke and another for Jan Bakelants, who was brought down during a fast downhill section late on.
Team Sunweb coach, Marc Reef, summarised the day’s action: “It was a nervous day with a lot of wind on a hilly parcours, where the goal was to protect Wilco and bring him into the finish safely. The race was on by the halfway point and Wilco and Jan were in a lead group of around 50 riders. Just before the split Louis crashed and had to stop a few kilometres later. Also, Jan crashed with around 10 kilometres to go in the first group, but he was able to continue and then finished the stage. Wilco crossed the finish line in the first group and is still placed fourth on the general classification.”
All eyes shall now be upon tomorrow’s stage, which looks poised to shake up the general classification, as the riders tackle six categorised climbs; the final of which being the summit finish atop the fearsome Col de Turini.