Richie Porte (BMC) took an emphatic solo victory on the queen stage at the Paris-Nice, crossing the finish line 21 seconds ahead of Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo).
Sergio Henao (Team Sky) finished fourth and the Colombian claimed the yellow jersey as previous incumbent Julian Alaphillippe (Quick-Step Floors) was dropped from the lead group in a dramatic finale.
The Colombian only lost time to Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors) on the day, but the time difference ensured Henao moved into the lead from third place.
After a day punctuated by a number of small breaks, the final 16 kilometre ascent was the highest climb in the history of the race. The peloton was slowly whittled down to an elite group of seven which Porte repeatedly attacked in the closing five kilometres until he was able to get clear of Contador and Henao with just over two kilometres remaining.
While Porte’s GC position ensured the others let him go, Contador was able to steal a mach on Henao to eat into his overall lead, while Martin pipped the Team Sky rider to third to pick up a precious time bonus.
Henao now goes into the final stage with a 30 second advantage over his nearest rival as he aims to record Team Sky’s fifth win in six years at Paris-Nice.
— Paris-Nice (@ParisNice) 11 martie 2017
Paris-Nice 2017 – stage 7 results (Nice – Col de la Couillole):
|1||Richie Porte (BMC)|
|2||Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)|
|3||Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors)|
|4||Sergio Henao (Team Sky)|
|5||Ion Izagirre (Bahrain Merida)|
|6||Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)|
|7||Pierre-Roger Latour (AG2R)|
|8||Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|9||Marc Soler (Movistar)|
|10||Gorka Izagirre (Movistar)|
General classification after stage 7:
|1||Sergio Henao (Team Sky)|
|2||Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors)|
|3||Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)|
|4||Gorka Izagirre (Movistar)|
|5||Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors)|
|6||Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|7||Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida|
|8||Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal)|
|9||Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb)|
|10||Simon Yates (Orica-Scott)|