Nicolas Roche goes on the attack on Paris-Nice queen stage

Posted on: March 10th, 2018

Nicolas Roche Paris-Nice

Nicolas Roche leads the breakaway through the mist on the queen stage of Paris-Nice. While he was on the attack cousin Dan Martin was forced to abandon.


Nicolas Roche attacks queen stage at Paris-Nice


Irish rider Nicolas Roche has gone on the attack in the mountains of Paris-Nice. The BMC Racing man was eventually swallow up by the favourites group with about 15km remaining.

And from that point real drama unfolded. Race leader Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) lost contact with the select group on the long climb up to the finish.

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) attacked off the front to win the stage. As a result of winning solo, the British rider took the yellow jersey.

The only other Irish rider in the race, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) would abandon. He fell ill and was forced to climb off about halfway through the queen stage today.

Roche went clear in an eight-man group on the first climb of the day; the Cote de Gattieres. That was just 10km into the 175km stage from Nice to Valdeblore La Colmiane.

There were three cat 2 climbs and two cat 1s, including the ascent to the summit finish. It meant the early breakaway would have needed a huge advantage to stay clear.


Nicolas Roche Paris-Nice

Nicolas Roche Paris-Nice

Nicolas Roche Paris-Nice

Big winner Yates, the breakaway in full early in the stage, Sanchez just before he was spat out of the group.


With Roche were Rory Sutherland (UAE Team Emirates), Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Alessandro de Marchi.

Also present were Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Amael Moinard (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis).

They quickly built a decent lead, with hovered around the three minute mark for a long time. However, the escape took a serious knock when Pantano and De Marchi crashed with about 30km remaining.

De Gendt then dropped back about 5km later having collected enough points to take the climbers’ jersey.

That left Gallopin, Moinard and Roche out front. But they would also be caught one by one; Gallopin lasting longest.

The peloton had already slimmed down dramatically at that point. And when the riders moved onto the final ascent, Mitchelton Scott took over the pace-setting as the climb went on.

Its impetus saw yellow jersey Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) dropped. And not long after, 4km from the finish, Yates would attack to win. Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) went with him.

However, Yates would drop him closer to the finish for a solo win just seconds ahead of the chasers.

Roche paid for his early efforts and finished 16 minutes down. However, team mate Dylan Teuns was 2nd just eight seconds behind Yates and is now 5th overall.

Yates leads with the final 110km mountainous stage to come. He has 11 and 12 seconds from Ion and Gorka Izagirre.

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) is next at 13 seconds followed by Teuns at 27 and Marc Soler (Movistar) at 37 seconds.