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Beautiful Victory Emerges from Carnage

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Mar 14, 2015 – Tony Gallopin took command of the Paris-Nice with a solo success on Nice’s celebrated Promenade des Anglais in Saturday’s sixth and penultimate stage.

AFP/Yuzuru Sunada

The French hope goes into Sunday’s closing time-trial with a 35second lead over Australia’s Richie Porte, and 37s over the former holder of the yellow jersey, Polish rival Michal Kwiatkowski.

Gallopin, 26, seized control of the gruelling 180.5 kilometre ride from Vente a full 30km from the finish. The Lotto rider was followed across the line half a minute back by a group led by Slovenian Simon Spilak and Portugal’s Rui Costa.

“I don’t win a lot but when I do it’s often like that,” said Gallopin, who wore the Tour de France yellow jersey for 24 hours last year. “It’s to live moments like that that we train hard,” he added.

“I took a lot of risk coming down when Michal (Kwitkoski) attacked, I even gave myself a huge fright. “But I’d done my homework and knew the descent well, that allowed me to deal with the difficult bits.”

Porte, and the Briton Geraint Thomas, who had left Kwiatkowski trailing in the last of the day’s six climbs, hit the deck on the run down into Nice. The race concludes Sunday with a 9.6km time-trial on the col d’Eze, with Gallopin hopeful he can hang on and win.

“It’s going to be tough but I reckon it’s possible,” the Frenchman said. “I know the climb (to Eze) by heart.” If Gallopin succeeds, he will become the first French rider to win the Paris-Nice since Laurent Jalabert in 1997.

Watch Richie Porte’s Crash Below:

Final 10 kilometers of stage 6

Results Stage 6

1. Tony Gallopin (FRA/LOT) 4hr 52min 57sec
2. Simon Spilak (SLO/KAT) at 32sec
3. Rui Costa (POR/LAM) 32
4. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 32
5. Rafael Valls (ESP/LAM) 35
6. Michael Valgren (DEN/TIN) 1:00
7. Tim Wellens (BEL/LOT) 1:00
8. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/IAM) 1:00
9. Arthur Vichot (FRA/FDJ) 1:00