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The "race to the sun" enjoyed plenty of sunshine on Friday. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
The "race to the sun" enjoyed plenty of sunshine on Friday. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Paris-Nice, Stage 6: One For The Break

9. March 2012

Sisteron, France

On a day when one dangerous breakaway was caught and another stayed away to the finish, the BMC Racing Team rode Friday to protect the top 10 position of Tejay van Garderen, who remains sixth overall with two stages remaining.

Lodewyck Withdraws

Strong winds at the start of the 178.5-kilometer race created a breakaway of 28 that included three from the BMC Racing Team: Thor Hushovd, Marcus Burghardt and van Garderen. "There were some guys on the top 10 on general classification who were missing, so for us it was really good," BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe said. But after enjoying a maximum lead of one minute, the escapees were brought back and a new seven-man breakaway formed. It eventually dwindled to two inside the final 10 km, with Luis-Leon Sanchez (Rabobank Cycling Team) nipping Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) for the stage win. Van Garderen and the rest of the peloton rolled in 14 seconds later as Bradley Wiggins (Sky Procycling) retained the overall lead, 39 seconds ahead of van Garderen. Before the start, Klaas Lodewyck withdrew due to increasing pain in his right knee. "I hit my knee a few days before I came here but the pain wasn't that bad," Lodewyck said. "This week it's been getting worse and worse, so it's better for me to quit the race now."

To view photos from the stage, click here: