After the Dutchman Tom Jelte Slagter (Garmin-Sharp) lost all chances of a top position in the overall standings shortly before the end of the stage yesterday. Today he returned the favor with an impressive victory, his second at Paris-Nice. Slagter edged out Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) and Carlos Betancur (Ag2R-La Mondiale).
The 195-kilometer seventh stage of the day leads the field from Mougins to Biot Sophia Antipolis and featured a total of five mountain classifications. A quintet around Laurent Didier (Trek Factory Racing) and Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Belisol) broke away from the field early on. Thanks to the maximum lead of 4:25 minutes, Ligthart managed to take over the mountain jersey.
The lead caused movement in the field. Among others, Matthias Frank (IAM) and Brice Feillu (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) followed the lead. Above all, Feillu, who is known as a strong climber, called the team of overall leader Betancur onto the scene. The speed work was successful with almost forty kilometers to go.
After that, the favorites for the overall victory could not be out of sight. On the descent to the finish line, Geraint Thomas (Sky), who was in second place overall, fell. Frank Schleck (Trek Factory Racing) also fell.
Slagter was unimpressed by this today, giving neither Costa nor Betancur nor the fast-paced Spaniard Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) a chance with a strong acceleration in the last hundred meters.
Betancur defended the overall lead with his third place on the day. John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) remains the driver with the best points.
1. Tom Jelte Slagter (Garmin Sharp) 5:00:05
2. Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) 0:00:00
3. Carlos Alberto Betancur (Ag2R-La Mondiale) 0:00:00
4. Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) 0:00:00
5. Arthur Vichot (FDJ.fr) 0:00:00
1. Carlos Alberto Betancur (Ag2R-La Mondiale) 32:04:49
2. Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) 0:00:14
3. Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) 0:00:26
4. Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) 0:00:27
5. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) 0:00:29