Geraint Thomas takes overall Paris-Nice lead after 6th stage

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 7:33 p.m. ET

LA MADONE D'UTELLE, France (AP) British rider Geraint Thomas took the overall lead in the Paris-Nice race after finishing the mountainous sixth stage in second place behind Russian Ilnur Zakarin on Saturday.

The Team Sky rider held on as two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador attacked him in the long final climb of 15.3 kilometers (9.5 miles).

Contador, a two-time Paris-Nice winner, had Thomas in trouble when he attacked strongly about six kilometers from the summit and surged clear.

But Thomas withstood that attack, and another from former Sky teammate Richie Porte - now leader of the BMC team - in the last kilometer.

Those efforts cost Thomas as Zakarin clinched his second stage win this year.

Thomas leads second-place Contador by 15 seconds overall heading into Sunday's final stage.