Cycling News

Pogačar battles rivals on Paris-Nice queen stage

Pogačar battles rivals on Paris-Nice queen stage

After Friday’s sixth stage was canceled due to lashing winds, Saturday’s queen stage on the penultimate day came down a three-up sprint between the top fellows in the GC. For the second time this week, Tadej Pogačar beat out David Gaudu for the honours. It was the Slovenian’s seventh triumph of the season in 12 race days. Hugo Houle, part of the day’s breakaway, placed 22nd.

Pogacar’s seventh win of the season.

The Course

The riders had two Cat. 1 climbs to contend with over 143 km. The first one, Côte de Tourette-du-Château, came early and was more daunting for its length (17.9 km) than its pitch (4.5 percent). The summit finish was on Col de la Couillole, 15.8 km of 7.3 percent.

At the start of the day only three riders were within a minute of Tadej Pogačar: David Gaudu (+0:06), Jonas Vingegaard (+0:44) and Simon Yates (+0:58).

Again, Hugo Houle was in the day’s breakaway, a 19-strong group that escaped before Côte de Tourette-du-Château. There was simply too much intent in the peloton for it to stay intact all the way to Col de la Couillole. The last fugitive was lassoed with 9 km to climb.

Jumbo-Visma’s work at the front of the group, Tobias Foss’ especially, whittled down the numbers. With 6.3 km remaining, Simon Yates’ teammate Chris Harper attacked. This spurred on Vingegaard to accelerate.

Almost immediately Pogačar responded with an attack. Vingegaard led a chase group with Gaudu.

Pogacar attacks, Vingegaard lead Gaudu in the chase.

The Dane and the Frenchman made it back over to the Slovenian and Gaudu pushed the pace. At 2.3 km to climb, Gaudu made a surge that unhitched Vingegaard. Again, the Tour de France title holder came back. There would be a three-up sprint at the mountain’s crest.

Vingegaard started the hostilities with 300 meters to go, but Pogačar finished them. Yates came in fourth and the order at the start of the day was maintained.

Sunday is the tricky final stage of the Race to the Sun.

2023 Paris-Nice Stage 7
1) Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia/UAE-Emirates) 3:56:08
2) David Gaudu (France/Groupama-FDJ) +0:02
3) Jonas Vingegaard (Denmark/Jumbo-Visma) +0:06
22) Hugo Houle (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +8:34

2023 Paris-Nice GC
1) Tadej Pogačar…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…