Stage 6 of the French World Tour took the riders to the capital of the Provence Verte.
For the first time in history, Brignoles was chosen by the organisers to host a stage finish at Paris-Nice, which came at the end of a long and hard day instead of the straightforward one which many had expected, during which the riders had to face a hilly route and strong winds. Several teams, including Deceuninck – Quick-Step, took advantage of these conditions to break the peloton on the second classified climb of the day, with the help of Tim “El Tractor” Declercq, who shown effortless power as the fragmented the pack.
In Brignoles, a city with a rich architectural heritage which goes all the way back to the 12th century, only some 40-odd riders went under the flamme rouge and fought for the win, which was bagged by Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe), who beat Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) on the line. Le Samyn winner Florian Sénéchal carried the flag for our team and came home seventh, for his maiden top 10 stage finish at the “Race to the Sun”.
The general classification, where Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Bob Jungels is fifth, will change on Saturday, when the iconic Col du Turini (14.9 kilometers, 7.3%) is set to feature at the end of the penultimate stage, which has a highly selective route that could break many of the yellow jersey contenders’ hopes.
Photo credit: ©Justin Setterfield/ Getty Images