March 9, 2018 / 4:26 PM / 9 months ago

Cycling - Bad day for Sky in France as Poels crashes out

FILE PHOTO - Belgium's Wout Van Aert (C) fights for the first place with Netherlands' Lars Van der Haar (R) and Netherlands' Mathieu Van der Poel (L) during the cyclo-cross world championship in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium, January 31, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

PARIS (Reuters) - Team Sky suffered a bad day at the Paris-Nice race on Friday as Dutchman Wout Poels crashed out during the sixth stage won by France’s Rudy Molard. Poels, who was second overall with a decent chance to give Sky their sixth title in seven years, fell off his bike seven kilometres from the finish in the hilly 198-km ride from Sisteron to Vence, and suffered a possible shoulder injury.From a reduced peloton, Groupama-FDJ rider Molard attacked 1.2 km from the line and with his rivals playing mind games behind, crossed the line first to claim his second professional victory.Overall leader Luis Leon Sachez of Spain had a quiet day in the saddle as his Astana team controlled the race and he now leads Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe by 22 seconds and Spain’s Marc Soler by 26.Saturday’s seventh stage takes the peloton over 175km from Nice to Valdeblore La Colmiane and ends with a 16.3km ascent at an average gradient of 6.2 percent.The race finishes on Sunday.

Reporting by Julien Pretot, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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