Paris - Nice: Chavanel wins sixth stage - Rebellin with successful attack

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15.03.2008/ A swashbuckling attack in the Tanneron descent allowed Davide Rebellin to topple young Dutchman Robert Gesink and seize the reins of Paris-Nice after a nail-biting 6th stage in Cannes won by Sylvain Chavanel. Everybody expected Gesink’s rivals to test him in the seven climbs of the day but the experienced Rebellin, a three times podium finisher on Paris-Nice, struck when nobody expected him to, accompanied by the strongmen of this edition. Chavanel, the overall leader for one day in St Etienne, was the most active rider in the finale and amply deserved to crown a great Paris-Nice with a stage win. Rebellin can now hope to win the Race to the Sun at long last but he must beware of compatriot Rinaldo Nocentini, who lies only three second behind him overall.

Sylvain Chavanel took todays sixth stage (© ASO)

The start was given at 11:45am. Simon Gerrans (Credit Agricole) and Sergio Ghisalberti (Milram) did not start.

Eight riders took off after 16 kilometres: Bernhard Kohl (Geroslteiner), Bobby Julich (CSC), Gert Steegmans (Quick Step) Clement Lhotellerie (Skil-Shimano), Kevin Ista (Agritubel),Aleksandr Kuschynski (Liquigas), Chris Sorensen (CSC), Matthieu Sprick (Bouygues Telecom) and the bunch let them go.

The gap went up to 4:55 before the first of seven climbs of the day, le Col des Leques (km 73), on which polka-dot jersey holder Lhotellerie collected seven points for the mountain classification. The Frenchman was also first at the Col de Luens (km 90.5), which the break reached with a 5:15 lead over the pack. After collecting four more points on the Cote de Mousteiret (km 96), Lhotellerie stopped his effort and waited for the peloton, having grabbed 18 points in all. 

Without the best climber, the gap reached a maximum of six minutes at km 106 before decreasing. It was down to 3:50 on the Col de St Arnoux (km 134.5) and to 3:35 on the Col de Bourigaille (km 154). On that last climb, Steegmans and Ista lost ground, leaving but five riders in the front. At the second intermediate sprint in Montauroux, won by Julich 35 kms from the line, the gap had been cut to 2:45.

On the Col du Tanneron, Julich and Sprick were left side by side, the 2005 Paris-Nice winner reaching the top ahead of the Frenchman. The peloton, who had lost French champion Christophe Moreau, saw many attacks quashed one after the other and the real fight started in the descent.

As Sprick crashed, leaving Julich alone in the lead, Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) and Luis Sanchez (Caisse d’Epargne), last year’s stage winner in Cannes, joined forces in the descent to topple Robert Gesink. The yellow jersey holder quickly lost ground and chased desperately with Cadel Evans and Lhotellerie. Julich was reined in 10 kms from the finish by Gesink’s leading rivals, Rebellin, Sanchez, Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R), Damiano Cunego (Lampre) and Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis). Gesink was 28 seconds off the pace with 6 kms to go but the leading group worked perfectly to leave the young Dutchman 1:29 adrift on the finish line. In the last stretch, Luis Sanchez was the first to attack but Chavanel immediately counter-attacked and broke clear with 500 metres to go. Holder of the yellow jersey for one day in St Etienne, the Frenchman went on to win the stage. Sanchez was second ahead of Julich. In the overall standings, Rebellin has a slim three-seconds lead over Nocentini, while Yaroslav Popovych is third, 48 seconds adrift. Gesink is 4th, a further three seconds further.

Stage winner Sylvain Chavanel said: "I’ve been close to a stage victory for three or four years and my motivation was high. I told my team-mates I was feeling great. I did the start of the descent with Cunego and we worked all together well. With one kilometre to go, I decided not to take my turns. I went for Sanchez when he surged and it went all the way. It’s a great emotion, a great pleasure. This has been my best Paris-Nice and to top it by a stage victory is great for me. The yellow jersey was a first reward, this is another one."

Gerolsteiner's Davide Rebellin said its not over yet: "I knew the descent well and I knew it was dangerous but I think it was the only place to attack. My breakaway companions worked well in the finale. Now it’s far from over because I remember last year when I led by six seconds at the start of the last day and lost. My experience helped me in this stage but it also tells me that it is not over. I live in Monaco and know tomorrow’s roads by heart. They’re my training roads."

Rabobank's sports director Erik Dekker saw a very disappointed Robert Gesink at the finish: "But he has to be disappointed. Obviously, it is very tough to lose your jersey in the final descent of the last-but-one stage. There are people who experience bad nights of sleep because of things that are less worse. We basically did not make a lot of mistakes. Nobody could have helped him during the descent. A terrible descent it is; I can tell that from my own experience. Robert stood no chance after they had found each other in the front ranks on the flat roads." It will be difficult to surprise Rebellin, Nocentini, and Popovych tomorrow. "In a short stage, that is of course not evident." The Rabo ProTeam will appear at the start with only six riders tomorrow, because Bram Tankink had to pull himself out of the race due to knee problems, which he sustained in the first stage.

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Picture gallery: Paris - Nice , Stage 6, March 15, 2008.

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Special Coverage Paris - Nice 2008

Results Paris - Nice 2008
Stage 6
1 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis                          5.00.25 (41.14 km/h)
2 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                   0.02
3 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC                                   
4 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre                                   
5 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                         0.06
6 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale                      
7 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step                            0.44
8 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole                            
9 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                          
10 Aurélien Passeron (Fra) Saunier Duval-Scott                  
11 Alberto Losada (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                        
12 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis                                 
13 Gorka Verdugo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                        
14 Juan Manuel Gárate (Spa) Quick Step                          
15 Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Liquigas                          
16 Bernhard Kohl (Aut) Gerolsteiner                             
17 David Arroyo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                          
18 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Silence-Lotto                        
19 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Crédit Agricole                    
20 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre                             1.29
21 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre                                 
22 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Crédit Agricole                        
23 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux                    
24 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Crédit Agricole                         
25 Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre                                    
26 Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Quick Step                           
27 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step                              
28 Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                    
29 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                      
30 Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Team CSC                          
31 Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas                              
32 Juan José Cobo (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                     
33 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank                                 
34 Clément Lhôtellerie (Fra) Skil-Shimano                       
35 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto                              
36 David López García (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                    
37 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Agritubel                         2.01
38 Yann Huguet (Fra) Cofidis                                    
39 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                       
40 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team CSC                                 
41 Vicente Reynes (Spa) High Road                            5.07
42 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas                                
43 Ralf Grabsch (Ger) Team Milram                               
44 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner                         
45 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Gerolsteiner                              
46 Trent Lowe (Aus) Slipstream Chipotle - H30                   
47 Andrea Moletta (Ita) Gerolsteiner                            
48 Josep Jufré (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                        
49 Thierry Huppond (Fra) Skil-Shimano                           
50 Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel) Silence-Lotto                    
51 Markel Irizar (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                        
52 Ivan Santaromita (Swi) Liquigas                              
53 Claudio Corioni (Ita) Liquigas                               
54 Christophe Rinero (Fra) Agritubel                            
55 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                      
56 Hubert Dupont (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                         
57 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank                           
58 Kjell Carlström (Fin) Liquigas                               
59 Lilian Jégou (Fra) Française des Jeux                        
60 Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Agritubel                             
61 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence-Lotto                            
62 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team CSC                             
63 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Crédit Agricole                    
64 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                        
65 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank                               
66 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis                                  
67 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                        
68 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC                                 
69 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30        
70 José Luis Arrieta (Spa) Ag2r-La Mondiale                     
71 Xavier Florencio (Spa) Bouygues Telecom                      
72 Andreas Klier (Ger) High Road                                
73 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux                         
74 Yoann Le Boulanger (Fra) Française des Jeux              10.28
75 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Rabobank                               
76 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Quick Step                      10.43
77 Sylvain Calzati (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                       
78 Cyril Dessel (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                          
79 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Slipstream Chipotle - H30           
80 Christophe Edaleine (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                   
81 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel                            
82 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Silence-Lotto                        
83 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC                                    
84 Lucas Euser (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30                  
85 Aitor Hernández (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                      
86 Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil-Shimano                          
87 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step                              
88 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française des Jeux                   
89 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                    15.26
90 Anthony Charteau (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                  19.18
91 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole                           
92 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Lampre                                   
93 Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre                                     
94 Massimiliano Mori (Ita) Lampre                               
95 Morris Possoni (Ita) High Road                               
96 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis                                
97 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis                               
98 Bingen Fernández (Spa) Cofidis                               
99 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) High Road                               
100 Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Milram                            
101 Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram                              
102 Igor Antón (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                          
103 Lander Aperribai (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                    
104 José Alberto Benítez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott              
105 Dionisio Galparsoro (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                 
106 Servais Knaven (Ned) High Road                              
107 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quick Step                             
108 Johann Tschopp (Swi) Bouygues Telecom                       
109 Marc De Maar (Ned) Rabobank                                 
110 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram                             
111 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Française des Jeux                    
112 Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30                  
113 Craig Lewis (USA) High Road                                 
114 Kevin Ista (Bel) Agritubel                                  
115 André Greipel (Ger) High Road                               
116 Thomas Peterson (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30             
117 Björn Schröder (Ger) Team Milram                            
118 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas                              
119 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) High Road                              
120 Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner                        19.47
121 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Agritubel                             
122 Michiel Elijzen (Ned) Rabobank                          22.36
DNS Simon Gerrans (Aus) Crédit Agricole                         
DNS Sergio Ghisalberti (Ita) Team Milram
DNF Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil-Shimano                            
DNF Tyler Farrar (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30                
DNF Eduardo Gonzalo (Spa) Agritubel                             
DNF Matteo Carrara (Ita) Quick Step                             
DNF Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank                                 
DNF Iouri Trofimov (Rus) Bouygues Telecom                       
DNF Manuele Mori (Ita) Saunier Duval-Scott                      
DNF Jason McCartney (USA) Team CSC                              

General Classification after Stage 6
1 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                     26.11.31
2 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale                   0.03
3 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Silence-Lotto                      0.48
4 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank                               0.51
5 Juan Manuel Gárate (Spa) Quick Step                        1.12
6 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                   1.24
7 Gorka Verdugo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                      2.17
8 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step                            2.33
9 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis                             2.39
10 Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Quick Step                        3.21
11 Clément Lhôtellerie (Fra) Skil-Shimano                    4.13
12 Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre                                 4.23
13 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Crédit Agricole                      4.42
14 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis                              5.35
15 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Agritubel                         7.22
16 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto                           7.31
17 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre                               7.42
18 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                     10.00
19 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Crédit Agricole                13.08
20 Yann Huguet (Fra) Cofidis                                13.13
21 Trent Lowe (Aus) Slipstream Chipotle - H30               13.56
22 Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas                          14.36
23 Juan José Cobo (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                 16.09
24 Alberto Losada (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                    19.05
25 Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Liquigas                      20.37
26 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC                             23.26
27 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team CSC                             23.52
28 José Luis Arrieta (Spa) Ag2r-La Mondiale                 25.39
29 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Crédit Agricole                    25.55
30 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank                           27.12
31 Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel) Silence-Lotto                27.24
32 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC                              27.33
33 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Crédit Agricole                27.46
34 David Arroyo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                      28.02
35 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel                        28.36
36 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                  28.51
37 Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Agritubel                         29.27
38 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux                29.43
39 Igor Antón (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                       29.54
40 Josep Jufré (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                    30.44
41 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank                       32.49
42 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas                            33.11
43 Lilian Jégou (Fra) Française des Jeux                    33.17
44 Hubert Dupont (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                     33.18
45 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre                             33.34
46 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence-Lotto                        34.20
47 David López García (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                34.26
48 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step                          34.44
49 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                    35.27
50 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                    35.28
51 Aurélien Passeron (Fra) Saunier Duval-Scott              36.13
52 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole                       36.51
53 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30    37.13
54 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas                           37.20
55 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                  37.25
56 Kjell Carlström (Fin) Liquigas                           37.38
57 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner                     38.04
58 Ivan Santaromita (Swi) Liquigas                          38.17
59 Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Team CSC                      38.25
60 Bernhard Kohl (Aut) Gerolsteiner                         38.43
61 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre                            40.53
62 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Gerolsteiner                          41.48
63 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC                                41.50
64 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux                     43.34
65 Vicente Reynes (Spa) High Road                           46.45
66 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) High Road                           47.31
67 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Quick Step                      48.40
68 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team CSC                         48.51
69 Claudio Corioni (Ita) Liquigas                           48.52
70 Dionisio Galparsoro (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi              49.41
71 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Slipstream Chipotle - H30       50.09
72 Morris Possoni (Ita) High Road                           50.39
73 Craig Lewis (USA) High Road                              51.53
74 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française des Jeux               51.54
75 Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30               53.02
76 Andrea Moletta (Ita) Gerolsteiner                        53.16
77 Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                53.22
78 José Alberto Benítez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott           53.51
79 Andreas Klier (Ger) High Road                            53.54
80 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole                       54.08
81 Marc De Maar (Ned) Rabobank                              55.16
82 Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram                           55.52
83 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Silence-Lotto                    56.21
84 Xavier Florencio (Spa) Bouygues Telecom                  57.00
85 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                   58.11
86 Yoann Le Boulanger (Fra) Française des Jeux              58.18
87 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Lampre                               58.46
88 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step                          59.22
89 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Française des Jeux                 59.26
90 Cyril Dessel (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                    1.00.27
91 Markel Irizar (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                  1.02.26
92 Thierry Huppond (Fra) Skil-Shimano                     1.03.24
93 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                  1.03.34
94 Servais Knaven (Ned) High Road                         1.03.57
95 Christophe Rinero (Fra) Agritubel                      1.05.10
96 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis                         1.08.28
97 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram                        1.08.50
98 Bingen Fernández (Spa) Cofidis                         1.09.00
99 Sylvain Calzati (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                 1.09.04
100 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis                         1.09.06
101 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis                           1.10.20
102 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Rabobank                        1.10.46
103 Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil-Shimano                   1.14.27
104 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quick Step                       1.14.33
105 Ralf Grabsch (Ger) Team Milram                        1.14.36
106 Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre                              1.15.25
107 Anthony Charteau (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne               1.16.47
108 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Agritubel                       1.17.09
109 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) High Road                        1.18.17
110 Lucas Euser (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30           1.19.19
111 Aitor Hernández (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi               1.20.33
112 Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner                      1.22.46
113 Björn Schröder (Ger) Team Milram                      1.23.16
114 Massimiliano Mori (Ita) Lampre                        1.25.11
115 Johann Tschopp (Swi) Bouygues Telecom                 1.26.07
116 Lander Aperribai (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi              1.27.16
117 Kevin Ista (Bel) Agritubel                            1.29.34
118 Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Milram                      1.29.57
119 André Greipel (Ger) High Road                         1.34.10
120 Christophe Edaleine (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale            1.36.42
121 Michiel Elijzen (Ned) Rabobank                        1.40.46
122 Thomas Peterson (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30       1.42.36

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