Sylvain Chavanel Paris Nice stage 6
(Image credit: LUC CLAESSEN)

The Col du Tanneron exacted a terrible toll on yellow jersey Robert Gesink on the road to Cannes. An Italian coalition saw the Dutchman lose the race lead that many expected him to carry all the way to Nice.

Behind stage winner Sylvain Chavanel, whose aggression throughout the race was finally rewarded, Gesink was left isolated. The Rabobank rider, so impressive on Mont Ventoux two days ago, was isolated after a chaotic, crash-filled descent left him chasing on his own on the run-in to Cannes.

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Edward Pickering is a writer and journalist, editor of Pro Cycling and previous deputy editor of Cycle Sport. As well as contributing to Cycling Weekly, he has also written for the likes of the New York Times. His book, The Race Against Time, saw him shortlisted for Best New Writer at the British Sports Book Awards. A self-confessed 'fair weather cyclist', Pickering also enjoys running.