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"We went right into the finish climb in a good position. I did my best in the finish. It was pretty hard. I felt totally empty at the end," Velits says

Photo: BMC Racing Team (Continuum Sports, LLC)




15.03.2014 @ 10:51 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After Tejay van Garderen's withdrawal, Peter Velits (BMC) has taken over the captaincy role at BMC in Paris-Nice. Even though the team has been forced to scale down its original ambitions, the Slovakian is performing well and is getting closer to a top 10 finish.


Peter Velits garnered the BMC Racing Team's best result – 16th place – on Friday's uphill finish at Paris-Nice to move further up the overall standings. At 221.5 kilometers, the longest stage of the race traveled from Saint-Saturnin-lès-Avignon to Fayence, with a twisting finish that saw at least one rider take a tumble on one of the hairpin turns.

BMC Racing Team's Stephen Cummings was part of a 10-man breakaway that became 12 when two more riders bridged a minute's gap with 44 km to go. But the escape group started splitting up and the last of them was reeled in after topping the penultimate climb inside 25 km to go.

Carlos Betancur (AG2R La Mondiale) overtook world road champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) just before the finish line to win his second straight stage. Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quik Step) was third, three seconds back, while previous race leader Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) was fourth in the same time.

Betancur used another time bonus at the finish line to take the overall lead from Thomas, who is now eight seconds back with two days to go. Costa is third, 18 seconds back. Velits climbed from 15th to 11th overall and is 35 seconds behind.

"I had the guys around me, which was perfect," Velits said. "Amaël Moinard stayed with me until the end and helped me in the downhill because he knew the road well. That helped a lot. We went right into the finish climb in a good position. I did my best in the finish. It was pretty hard. I felt totally empty at the end."

"I am very happy with the guys today," sports director Yvon Ledanois said. "We always had a guy in the breakaway: the first time with Thor Hushovd and Amaël Moinard and then with Steve Cummings. We took the responsibility for taking the breakaway and for getting Peter into good position in the final. It was a great job by Amaël in the last 15 kilometers. So it was not a bad result. I am happy with the guys today."


You can read our preview of stage 7 here and follow our live coverage at 14.25 CET on



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