Geraint Thomas has put himself in prime position to win the Paris Nice race after the Team Sky rider took the leader’s yellow jersey with just one stage remaining.
The penultimate stage six of this year’s race saw the riders tackle a 177 kilometre challenge to the mountain top finish in La Madone d’Uteile.
The day’s ride featured seven categorized climbs spread out evenly throughout the day – many riders tried their luck at a break but the decisive move came on the final climb to the line – a climb that saw overnight leader Michael Matthews crack.
Thomas, Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador, lnur Zakarin of Katusha and BMC’s defending champion Richie Porte burst out in front in a bid for stage honours and the overall lead.
It was Zakarin who eventually outsprinted his rivals for the stage victory, but a second place finish for Thomas ahead of Contador means the Welshman now holds a 15-second lead over his Spanish rival with Sunday’s hilly 144 kilometre final stage around nice left.