Paris-Nice (st. 6) / Tirreno-Adriatico (st. 3)
Spanish climber from Movistar Team down in high-speed incident, 15km from Brignoles’ finish, as Quintana remains in 6th overall. No GC changes in Tirreno; Carapaz safe before weekend’s hills.
An incident 15km before Brignoles’s finish, during a very lively stage six in the 2019 Paris-Nice, left one of the Movistar Team’s most appreciated veterans out of the ‘Course to the Sun’: Rafa Valls. The Cocentaina native, who joined Winner Anacona and Marc Soler in the finale to support Nairo Quintana in a reduced peloton, due to the strong pace and the crosswinds, did not avoid a crash when another rider slipped after his bike went over a rock, falling against the Spaniard.
A deep blow to his left shoulder forced Valls to leave the race and be transferred by ambulance to the Centre Hospitalier de Brignoles, where scans confirmed a collarbone fracture. Quintana, who had to swerve past his team-mate to reach the finish, remains in 6th overall, 1’04” behind Michal Kwiatkowski (SKY), before Saturday’s Queen stage, a tough 181km route towards the Col de Turini (Cat-1; 15km at 7.3%).
Tirreno-Adriatico: Carapaz, Movistar Team safe after bunch sprint finish
A more linear, easier day awaited the riders at the first of two consecutive ‘marathon’ stages in the 2019 Tirreno-Adriatico, won by Elia Viviani (DQT) after 226km from Pomarance to Foligno. All seven Movistar Team riders had a a calm, incident-free stage, which helped Richard Carapaz stay 1’32” behind race leader Adam Yates (MTS) before a ‘mini-classic’ on Saturday.
Another 221km are in store tomorrow, with a very lumpy finale, including the climbs of Villa del Monte (128km, max slope 19%), Cartocetto -non-categorized, 165km-, Monteguiduccio (185km, max 18%) and a very demanding final circuit with two ascents of I Capuccini (1.5km / 10.6%), the last one 6km from the end in Fossombrone.