Paris - Nice (st. 6)
Spaniard still in 5th overall in París-Niza -24″ behind dual stage winner, new GC leader Betancur (ALM); 6secs away from podium- after hardest day – chances for him at Biot’s uphill on Saturday. Movistar lead teams’ overall
In a race with no big climbs, full of attacks and changes, José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar Team) had a serious test today into the most demanding stage of the 2014 Paris-Nice, which the Spaniard covered with a notable result. The 221km trek en route to the ‘Mur’ de Fayence, with four other categorized climbs including the Bourigaille (Cat-1), 8km at almost 7%-, witnessed a flurry of attacks which the riders from the telephone squad didn’t miss either today.
Ion Izagirre played this time the role of luxury domestique, jumping just before the crest of the last climb to control the dangerous moves happening at the front, later helping out his team-mate along with Gadret and Gorka Izagirre -who finished in the top-ten-, both with Rojas (13th, right ahead of the Frenchman- into a second echelon (+11″) behind the main favourites.
The day’s good performance takes the Movistar riders into the lead of the Course to the Sun’s teams’ overall, the individual GC now headed by Betancur (ALM) after beating Costa (LAM) en route to back-to-back victories in the race. Rojas still seats in fifth, 24″ behind the Colombian and just six off the pace of his ex team-mate, who now jumps into 3rd. To get to that final podium, two stages are still ahead, starting with 196km on Saturday from Mougins to an uphill finish in Biot, whose slopes favour the Cieza-based rider’s interests.