Astana Team was active from the beginning, trying to go in a breakaway with a few riders: firstly, it was Jakob Fuglsang and Alexey Lutsenko, while later Michael Valgren did a good move, breaking clear together with 7 more riders.
- The start was pretty fast – immediately after beginning of the race we started climbing. There were a lot of attacks, we attacked as well with Jakob and Alexey, who was able to went in a small break. Later it was me, who joined a good group. We had some good riders there and managed to organize a nice work inside the group, getting pretty comfortable advantage. But, closer to the finish we realized, the peloton anyway will catch us. So, in general, I am happy with my condition and the way my legs worked today. It was nice to spend this day in a breakaway. Maybe, there were too much climbs for me today, but anyway, I finished the stage with a good feeling, - said Michael Valgren.
British rider Simon Yates took the stage win after a strong solo attack. Shortly behind him a group of leaders came to the finish line with Jakob Fuglsang among them. Astana leader took 7th place at the finish in Fayence.
- It was a good test for me today – to be there in front. I was actually surprised that the group was so small over the top. So, I am happy with the feelings I had today. I was active already from the morning trying to go in a break, so it was a good day. It was a pity, the breakaway with Michael did not go to the finish, but that’s cycling. Other teams had different ideas about today’s stage. I am pretty happy with my condition today, so let’s see what will happen tomorrow. Obliviously, two hard stages are still to come, but I think today was a tough day as well for everybody, - explained Jakob Fuglsang.
The general classification of the Paris-Nice is still leading by Julian Alaphilippe. Thanks to today’s result Jakob Fuglsang moved up to 17th position.
The queen’s stage of the race will be held tomorrow: 177 km from Nice to Col de la Couillole.
Photo credit: © Bettiniphoto