Great Britain's Simon Yates won Stage 7 and took the overall lead on Saturday ahead of the final stage of the Paris-Nice.
The miserable weather on the so-called Race to the Sun took its toll.
BMC's Alessandro De Marchi was involved in a frightening crash on a descent, going over the barrier and disappearing into a ravine before being helped back up.
Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez of Astana began the day in yellow but cracked on the long, 16-kilometre climb to the finish and tumbled out of the top 10 overall by the end of the day.
Yates attacked with four kilometres left of the long climb to Valdeblore-la-Colmiane at the end of a mountainous 175-kilometre stage
He crossed the line followed by BMC's Dylan Teuns and Ion Izaguirre