Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) clinched a narrow stage-six victory at Paris-Nice on Friday, his second win on this edition.
Team Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski kept hold of the yellow jersey ahead of Saturday’s potentially decisive mountain stage at the Col du Turini.
Bennett looked to have left it too late in a reduced group who finished ahead of the peloton as Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) made the early run for the line. But Bennett unleashed an impressive last-100m dash to pip him at the line with Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) a close third.
“This race was my first goal, then Milan-San Remo, then I will back up a little and try to refresh the head,” said Bennett. “But Milan-San Remo is all I’m thinking about right now.”
“Sagan will be there at Milan but I’m not going to tell you what our tactics are,” he said of his relationship with team leader Peter Sagan, an all-rounder and multiple world champion.
“When you have the confidence, everything is flowing. For a sprinter, when he’s winning, everything is going so smooth. You don’t have to fight for it, it’s just happening.”
Saturday’s penultimate day of racing embarks from the coastal city of Nice and ends atop the Col de Turini after a near 15km climb at 7.3-percent gradient in the foothills that climb into the Alps.
Paris-Nice 2019 – stage 6 results (Peynier – Brignoles ):
|1||Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|2||Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)|
|3||Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|4||John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)|
|5||Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept-B&B Hotel)|
|6||Anthony Turgis (Direct Energie)|
|7||Florian Senechal (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|8||Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale)|
|9||Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates)|
|10||Egan Bernal (Team Sky)|
Paris-Nice 2019 – general classification after stage 6:
|1||Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky)|
|2||Egan Bernal (Team Sky)|
|3||Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana)|
|4||Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)|
|5||Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|6||Nairo Quintana (Movistar)|
|7||Felix Großschartner (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|8||Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|9||Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ)|
|10||Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)|