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2017 Paris-Nice: Stage 6 preview

Richie Porte leads the pack coming into the final stage of the Criterium du Dauphine (Team Sky)
Roar Guru
9th March, 2017
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Stage 6 signals the start of three difficult days which will ultimately decide the general classification positions for Paris-Nice.

This 200-kilometre stage offers the perfect opportunity for the climbers to test themselves against WorldTour opposition for the first time this season.

The stage starts in the town of Aubagne, with the riders immediately climbing the first category climb of the Col de l’Espigoulier. The riders will be on the rollers before the stage, with the first climb being nine kilometres at around 5.5 per cent.

This climb will offer an opportunity for the breakaway to get away, especially considering the long transition of around 90 kilometres of flat roads before the next climb.

After 113 kilometres into the stage, the next climb occurs, with the two-kilometre test of the Côte des Tuilières. This Category 2 climb averages eight per cent.

Off the descent of this climb, it is lumpy roads before the next ascent, the third category climb of the Côte du Mont Méaulx of 1.5 kilometres at 4.3 per cent, which is completed with around 60 kilometres to go.

From this point on the climbs get tougher, with gradients and lengths similar to the first climb of the day.

The riders in the final 50 kilometres will complete to circuits around the finishing town of Fayence.

The major climb on each loop is the Category 1 climb of the Col de Bourigaille, which is around eight kilometres at six per cent, completed at both 47 and 19 kilometres to go. A a tricky descent follows, which will offer the perfect attack point for a rider like Alberto Contador and Simon Yates, who are a little behind in the GC.

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The finishing ramp is similar to the Mur De Huy, with the Category 2 climb to the end of the stage being 1.3 kilometres at just under ten per cent.

Considering the queen stage is tomorrow, and the finish is not at the top of a high mountain, today isn’t likely to be selective, however the finishing climb and the tricky descent will allow some of the key contenders the potential to lose contact from their rivals.

The main contenders on this stage will be Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Steven Kruisjwijk (Lotto NL-Jumbo), Sergio Henao and Mikel Nieve (Sky), Simon Yates (Orica-Scott), Richie Porte and Nicholas Roche (BMC), Illnur Zakarin (Katusha), and Dan Martin and Julian Alaphillipe (Quick-Step Floors).