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Peter Velits (leading) was brought to the foot of the last climb in good position. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Peter Velits (leading) was brought to the foot of the last climb in good position. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Paris-Nice, Stage 6: Uphill Finish

14. March 2014

Peter Velits garnered the BMC Racing Team's best result – 16th place – on Friday's uphill finish at Paris-Nice to move further up the overall standings.

The Course:
At 221.5 kilometers, the longest stage of the race traveled from Saint-Saturnin-lès-Avignon to Fayence, with a twisting finish that saw at least one rider take a tumble on one of the hairpin turns.

The Day's Breakaway:
BMC Racing Team's Stephen Cummings was part of a 10-man breakaway that became 12 when two more riders bridged a minute's gap with 44 km to go. But the escape group started splitting up and the last of them was reeled in after topping the penultimate climb inside 25 km to go.

The Podium:
Carlos Betancur (AG2R La Mondiale) overtook world road champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) just before the finish line to win his second straight stage. Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was third, three seconds back, while previous race leader Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) was fifth in the same time.

In The Overall Standings:
Betancur used another time bonus at the finish line to take the overall lead from Thomas, who is now eight seconds back with two days to go. Costa is third, 18 seconds back. Velits climbed from 15th to 11th overall and is 35 seconds behind.

What Velits Said:
"I had the guys around me, which was perfect. Amaël Moinard stayed with me until the end and helped me in the downhill because he knew the road well. That helped a lot. We went right into the finish climb in a good position. I did my best in the finish. It was pretty hard. I felt totally empty at the end."

What Sport Director Yvon Ledanois Said:
"I am very happy with the guys today. We always had a guy in the breakaway: the first time with Thor Hushovd and Amaël Moinard and then with Steve Cummings. We took the responsibility for taking the breakaway and for getting Peter into good position in the final. It was a great job by Amaël in the last 15 kilometers. So it was not a bad result. I am happy with the guys today."

See photos from the race on the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.

Watch a video of Taylor Phinney talking about his classics campaign.

Listen to complete comments from Ledanois and Velits on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.