Daniel Martinez (EF Education First) won stage seven of the Paris-Nice on Saturday, as his compatriot Egan Bernal (Team Sky) emerged with the yellow jersey.
Bernal leads the overall standings by 45sec from Philippe Gilbert, after he crossed the summit way ahead of the main peloton which he dropped with a few kilometres remaining.
The stage ended with a steep 15km climb where several Colombian climbers had a field day, smashing the peloton’s resistance with Martinez proving strongest on the day after surviving an early breakaway.
Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) was second with Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) third and Vuelta a Espana champion Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) in fourth.
On last season’s race Yates went into the final day in the lead but lost it on a descent in dreadful weather, although Bernal holds all the aces.
The leader holds a 45sec lead on Gilbert while his compatriot Nairo Quintana, with whom he made Saturday’s ascent, is third at 46sec.
Overnight leader Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) looked strong until about 10km into the climb, where he dropped to 1min 03sec in the overall standings.
Sunday’s stage is a short 110km loop around Nice that features six tricky climbs, the last of which is just 9km from the line.
Paris-Nice 2019 – stage 7 results (Nice – Col de Turini):
|1||Daniel Martinez (EF Education First)|
|2||Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)|
|3||Nicolas Edet (Cofidis)|
|4||Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|5||Jonathan Hivert (Direct Energie)|
|6||Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo)|
|7||Julien El Fares (Delko Marseille Provence KTM)|
|8||Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates)|
|9||Victor De La Parte (CCC)|
|10||Alessandro De Marchi (CCC)|
Paris-Nice 2019 – general classification after stage 7:
|1||Egan Bernal (Team Sky)|
|2||Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|3||Nairo Quintana (Movistar)|
|4||Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky)|
|5||Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|6||Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)|
|7||George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma)|
|8||Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|9||Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ)|
|10||Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|