Paris-Nice – Sylvain Chavanel «For the Col d’Eze, I’ll have to give everything»

15 March 2015

IAM Cycling

Though there may be no popping of the champagne corks upon the arrival of Sylvain Chavanel at the end of the sixth stage, the IAM Cycling leader did put in an extremely impressive performance, remaining at the front of the race from beginning to end.  The day’s victory eventually went to Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal), after a late break.  Having taken eighth at the finish line on the Promenade des Anglais, Chavanel can feel satisfied on the eve of the final stage since he sits in eleventh place, just five seconds out of the top-10.

IAM CYCLING Paris Nice Chavanel Sylvain attaque

The rainy day did not dampen Chavanel’s mood.  The large number of abandons also did not make him wince.  Of the 148 rider who started the day on Saturday morning in the streets of Vence, there were only 106 who reached the line in Nice.  But Chvanel, who has already won two Paris-Nice stages in the past, was motivated to excel and push himself.  “I felt good on Saturday,” Chavanel confirmed.  “It was a difficult stage, particularly in view of the weather conditions.  I made my move just outside Vence because there were more than 20 riders in the boat to accompany.  I really wanted to go out on this stage because the profile around the region really suits my strengths.  I have already won here in the past, so I wanted to try to do something today.  I finished eight on the stage, which has helped me climb back up near the top-10 again, and that was the main goal for the day, and for my Paris-Nice on the whole.  So I am happy.”  After having completed such an epic day, Chavanel will now have to turn his attention to his attack of the final stage; and as a time trial, it is a course on which he would like to do well.  “Now we are facing a time trial up the Col d’Eze, we’ll have to give everything,” the French time trial champion said.  “But compared to what we had to do today on the bike, it will be pretty easy.  I would certainly like to finish in the top-10, but Sunday will be all about the legs after today, since we all expended a lot of energy.  We’ll have to recover well to be able to apply ourselves effectively against the clock up to the Col d’Eze.  As for the weather, even if it rains, it will not be as serious going uphill since there will be no risk of falling, so I will not be intimidated.”

IAM Cycling Paris Nice Chavanel Sylvain Arrivée

Rik Verbrugghe also shares this optimistic view: “Sylvain really did a good race on Saturday.  The favorites caught him before the finish, and I told him that if he can stay with them, then he would be able to crack the top-10 overall.  He really gave everything to stay with the best.  Sunday there will be another chance to give his maximum, and thereby complete this great performance in the overall.  In any case, this sixth stage was really dangerous on that descent in the rain, but the guys have all managed to remain attentive at all times.”