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Contador charges off the front on “Ventoux’s little sister” to take control of Paris-Nice.

By Andrew Hood

2009 Paris-Nice, stage 6: Contador made his point.

2009 Paris-Nice, stage 6: Contador made his point.

Photo: Agence France Presse

There’s seemingly no one who’s capable of stopping Alberto Contador through the first weeks of the 2009 season.
The Spanish climber dropped arch-rival Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank) on the mountain dubbed Mont Ventoux’s “little sister” to win Friday’s sixth stage and take back the overall lead at Paris-Nice. Contador, winner of the opening time trial in Amilly on Sunday, bolted away from the pack on the snow-covered, 1600m Montagne de Lure summit to win for the fourth time this year.
Overnight leader Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) couldn’t match the speeds and forfeited the yellow jersey, finishing nearly two minutes off Contador’s pace.

Head start to Lure

The hilly and demanding profile of the stage cried out for an early break and it didn’t take long for the attacks to come.

2009 Paris-Nice
Stage 6 Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to La Montagne de Lure 182.5 km (113.4 miles)

GC Leader: Alberto Contador (Astana)
Stage winner: Contador in 4:47:46
Stage winner’s average speed: 38.05 kph (23.64 mph)
Up next: Stage 7 is 191 km from Manosque to Fayence. The route includes ten categorized climbs, finishing atop the category three climb to the village of Fayence. The race concludes Sunday with a 119km hilly circuit starting and ending in Nice.

2009 Stage winners:
Stage 1: Alberto Contador (Astana)
Stage 2: Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo TestTeam)
Stage 3: Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step)
Stage 4: Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream)
Stage 5: Jeremy Roy (Française des Jeux)
Stage 6: Alberto Contador (Astana)

The day’s main move was forged in the opening 10km, with Romain Feillu (Agritubel), Mickael Delage (Silence-Lotto), Javier Aramendia and Aitor Pérez (Euskaltel), Niki Terpstra (Milram), Cyril Lemoine (Skil-Shimano), Christophe Riblon (Ag2r) and Sébastien Turgot (Bouygues Telecom) peeling away. Yesterday’s winner, Jérémy Roy (FDJeux) gave chase to latch on to the leaders at about 30km.
Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues) hit the deck very hard and was transported to a local hospital, putting an abrupt end to his strong start of the 2009 season. X-rays later revealed a broken clavicle.
The former yellow jersey holder of the Tour de France in 2004 started the day 16th overall after finishing second in Thursday’s fifth stage.
Astana kept the break on a relatively short leash, keeping the gap under three minutes at the Cat. 2 Côte de Ferrassières at 78km.
Astana was leaving nothing to chase and whittled down the gap to one minute coming over the Mort d’Imbert climb at 141km. And that was all she wrote.
With the breakaway swept up, Tony Martin (Columbia-Highroad) bolted out of the pack to take points over the third-category Cote des Mourres at 158.5km to defend his lead in the climber’s jersey.
From there, the climbers took over and it was fireworks to the summit.

Up the Lure

Sébastien Joly (FDJeux), the French rider who survived testicular cancer, made a brave run at 15km, but there was no stopping the inevitable.

Paris-Nice 2009 - Stage 6: Voigt goes on the attack

Paris-Nice 2009 – Stage 6: Voigt goes on the attack

Photo: Graham Watson

Euskatel-Euskadi set a blistering pace on the lower sections of the climb to bust up the peloton and reel in the French solo flier.
Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) couldn’t wait any longer and attacked with 11km to go, a move to put pressure on Astana and take it off his teammate Schleck.
Yaroslav Popovych, third overall last year at Paris-Nice, was impressive at the front of the leaders, with Contador right on his wheel. That pressure eliminated second-place rider Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank) and David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream).
Vladimir Efimkin (Ag2r) reacted with 8.5km to go and Contador turned the screws to distance Chavanel.
David Pérez (Caisse d’Epargne) accelerated with 8km to go, drawing out Contador and Schleck.

Paris-Nice 2009 - Stage 6: It was a tough day for Chavanel.

Paris-Nice 2009 – Stage 6: It was a tough day for Chavanel.

Photo: Graham Watson

Tomorrow’s stage

The 67th Paris-Nice continues Saturday with the 191km stage from Manosque to Fayence. The potential leg-buster features no less than 10 rated climbs, including the Cat. 1 Col de Bourigaille with 30km to go.
The stage finishes atop a third-category hill at 2.1km at 5 percent, ideal for … Contador?

Photo Gallery


Paris-Nice, 2009
Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to La Montagne de Lure

. Alberto Contador (Spa),Astana, 182.5km in 4:47:46
2. Fränk Schleck (Lux), Saxo Bank, at 0:58
3. Luis-Leon Sanchez (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, at 0:58
4. Cadel Evans (Aus), Silence-Lotto, at 1:27
5. David Moncoutié (Fra), Cofidis, at 1:27
6. Jens Voigt (Ger), Saxo Bank, at 1:29
7. Samuel Sanchez (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:31
8. Jonathan Hivert (Fra), Skil-Shimano, at 1:34
9. Christophe Moreau (Fra), Agritubel, at 1:44
10. Chris Sørensen (Den), Saxo Bank, at 1:46
11. Sandy Casar (Fra), Française Des Jeux, at 1:46
12. Kevin Seeldrayers (Bel), Quick Step, at 1:50
13. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra), Quick Step, at 1:50
14. Amaël Moinard (Fra), Cofidis, at 2:02
15. Mevel Christophe Le (Fra), Française Des Jeux, at 2:02
16. Yury Trofimov (Rus), BBox Bouygues Telecom, at 2:02
17. Antonio Colom (Spa), Katusha, at 2:06
18. Vladimir Efimkin (Rus), Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2:47
19. Roman Kreuziger (Cze), Liquigas, at 2:47
20. David Lopez Garcia (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, at 2:47
21. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel), Silence-Lotto, at 3:31
22. Maxime Monfort (Bel), Columbia-High Road, at 3:56
23. Nicolas Vogondy (Fra), Agritubel, at 4:01
24. Sébastien Joly (Fra), Française Des Jeux, at 4:01
25. Markus Fothen (Ger), Milram, at 4:01
26. Daniel Moreno (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, at 4:17
27. Thomas Rohregger (Aut), Milram, at 4:38
28. Christian Knees (Ger), Milram, at 4:48
29. Matthew Lloyd (Aus), Silence-Lotto, at 4:48
30. Juan Manuel Garate (Spa), Rabobank, at 5:06
31. Juan José Oroz (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 5:06
32. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr), Astana, at 5:06
33. David Millar (GB), Garmin-Slipstream, at 5:06
34. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Katusha, at 5:06
35. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus), Katusha, at 5:06
36. Pierre Rolland (Fra), BBox Bouygues Telecom, at 5:12
37. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita), Ag2r La Mondiale, at 5:20
38. Hubert Dupont (Fra), Ag2r La Mondiale, at 5:20
39. Jérôme Pineau (Fra), Quick Step, at 5:20
40. Stephane Goubert (Fra), Ag2r La Mondiale, at 5:31
41. Serge Pauwels (Bel), Cervélo TestTeam, at 6:00
42. Yann Huguet (Fra), Agritubel, at 6:05
43. Bram Tankink (Ned), Rabobank, at 6:05
44. Mickael Cherel (Fra), Française Des Jeux, at 6:24
45. Albert Timmer (Ned), Skil-Shimano, at 6:27
46. Maxime Bouet (Fra), Agritubel, at 7:00
47. Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra), Agritubel, at 7:00
48. Gorka Verdugo (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 7:00
49. Frederik Willems (Bel), Liquigas, at 7:47
50. Carlos Barredo (Spa), Quick Step, at 8:41
51. Rein Taaramae (Est), Cofidis, at 8:41
52. Nicolas Roche (Irl), Ag2r La Mondiale, at 8:55
53. Christian Vande Velde (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 9:38
54. Christophe Laurent (Fra), Agritubel, at 9:38
55. Thomas Peterson (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 9:38
56. Theo Eltink (Ned), Skil-Shimano, at 9:38
57. Inaki Isasi (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 9:38
58. Aitor Hernandez (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 9:38
59. Oscar Pereiro (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, at 11:16
60. Andreï Amador (CRc), Caisse d’Epargne
61. Ivan Santaromita (Ita), Liquigas
62. Olivier Bonnaire (Fra), BBox Bouygues Telecom, at 12:58
63. Mathieu Perget (Fra), Caisse d’Epargne, at 12:58
64. Alexandre Pichot (Fra), BBox Bouygues Telecom, at 12:58
65. Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra), Française Des Jeux, at 12:58
66. Kort Koen De (Ned), Skil-Shimano, at 12:58
67. Cyril Gautier (Fra), BBox Bouygues Telecom, at 12:58
68. Jakob Fuglsang (Den), Saxo Bank, at 13:34
69. Nicki Sørensen (Den), Saxo Bank, at 13:34
70. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus), Saxo Bank, at 13:34
71. Markel Irizar (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 13:34
72. Marco Pinotti (Ita), Columbia-High Road, at 13:34
73. Sergio Paulinho (Por), Astana, at 15:45
74. Daniel Navarro (Spa), Astana, at 15:45
75. Imanol Erviti (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, at 15:45
76. Maarten Tjallingii (Ned), Rabobank, at 16:27
77. Mathew Hayman (Aus), Rabobank, at 16:27
78. Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr), Liquigas, at 16:27
79. Evgeni Petrov (Rus), Katusha, at 16:27
80. Gustav Larsson (Swe), Saxo Bank, at 16:27
81. Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa), Rabobank, at 16:27
82. Danny Pate (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 16:27
83. Joan Horrach (Spa), Katusha, at 16:27
84. Murilo Fischer (Bra), Liquigas, at 16:27
85. Stéphane Auge (Fra), Cofidis, at 17:17
86. Matthias Russ (Ger), Milram, at 17:17
87. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra), Cofidis, at 17:17
88. Mickaël Buffaz (Fra), Cofidis, at 17:17
89. Damien Monier (Fra), Cofidis, at 17:17
90. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita), Lampre-NGC, at 17:17
91. Haimar Zubeldia (Spa), Astana, at 17:17
92. Martin Velits (Svk), Milram, at 17:17
93. Pietro Caucchioli (Ita), Lampre-NGC, at 17:17
94. Francisco Reda (Ita), Quick Step, at 17:17
95. Martin Müller (Ger), Milram, at 17:17
96. Walle Jurgen Van De (Bel), Quick Step, at 17:17
97. Christophe Riblon (Fra), Ag2r La Mondiale, at 17:17
98. Sébastien Hinault (Fra), Ag2r La Mondiale, at 17:17
99. Xavier Florencio (Spa), Cervélo TestTeam, at 17:17
100. Karsten Kroon (Ned), Saxo Bank, at 17:17
101. Weert Kevin De (Bel), Quick Step, at 17:17
102. Heinrich Haussler (Ger), Cervélo TestTeam, at 17:17
103. Hayden Roulston (NZl), Cervélo TestTeam, at 17:17
104. Trent Lowe (Aus), Garmin-Slipstream, at 17:17
105. Marcus Burghardt (Ger), Columbia-High Road, at 17:17
106. Kévin Van Impe (Bel), Quick Step, at 17:17

Overall standings

1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana 23.21.08
2 Luis-Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 1.13
3 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 1.24
4 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 1.38
5 Kevin Seeldrayers (Bel) Quick Step 2.01
6 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank 2.06
7 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 2.14
8 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Skil-Shimano 2.29
9 Antonio Colom (Spa) Team Katusha 2.35
10 Yury Trofimov (Rus) BBox Bouygues Telecom 3.09
11 Mevel Christophe Le (Fra) Française Des Jeux 3.32
12 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Agritubel 4.16
13 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team Columbia – Highroad 4.38
14 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des Jeux 4.45
15 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Rabobank 4.46
16 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas 5.12
17 David Millar (GBr) Garmin – Slipstream 5.30
18 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha 5.37
19 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 6.04
20 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Silence-Lotto 6.12
21 Juan José Oroz (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 6.31
22 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram 6.39
23 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) AG2R La Mondiale 6.42
24 Markus Fothen (Ger) Team Milram 7.04
25 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank 7.32
26 Thomas Rohregger (Aut) Team Milram 7.47
27 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Astana 7.55
28 Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil-Shimano 8.42
29 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel 9.19
30 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis 9.32
31 Yann Huguet (Fra) Agritubel 10.25
32 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step 10.27
33 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quick Step 10.29
34 Gorka Verdugo (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 10.37
35 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis 10.39
36 Pierre Rolland (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom 11.14
37 Frederik Willems (Bel) Liquigas 11.55
38 Inaki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 12.03
39 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto 12.28
40 Mickael Cherel (Fra) Française Des Jeux 12.43
41 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 12.59
42 Thomas Peterson (USA) Garmin – Slipstream 13.50
43 Theo Eltink (Ned) Skil-Shimano 13.55
44 Kort Koen De (Ned) Skil-Shimano 15.01
45 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis 15.06
46 Sébastien Joly (Fra) Française Des Jeux 15.29
47 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank 15.56
48 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha 16.33
49 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank 16.37
50 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française Des Jeux 16.42
51 Andreï Amador (CRc) Caisse d’Epargne 17.06
52 Chris Sørensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank 17.25
53 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 17.27
54 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin – Slipstream 18.07

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