Sky prodigy Bernal takes Paris-Nice control

Colombia's Daniel Martinez won stage seven of the Paris-Nice on Saturday, as his compatriot Egan Bernal of Sky emerged with the yellow jersey after a stunning ascent to the summit finish

Bernal, just 22, leads the overall standings by 45sec from Belgian Quick-Step veteran Philippe Gilbert, after he crossed the summit way ahead of the main peloton which he dropped with a few kilometres remaining.

The stage ended with a steep 15km climb where several Colombian climbers had a field day, smashing the peloton's resistance with Martinez proving strongest on the day after surviving an early escape group.

A third young Colombian, Miguel Angel Lopez, was second with France's Nicolas Edet third and Britain's Vuelta a Espana champion Simon Yates in fourth.

On last season's race Yates went into the final day in the lead but lost it on a descent in dreadful weather, although Bernal holds all the aces.

The leader holds a 45sec lead on Gilbert while his friend and compatriot Nairo Quintana, with whom he made Saturday's ascent, is third at 46sec.

Overnight leader Michal Kwiatkowski looked strong until about 10km into the climb, where he dropped to 1min 03sec in the overall standings.

Sunday's stage is a short 110km loop around Nice that features six tricky climbs, the last of which is just 9km from the line.

Stage result

1 Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) EF Education First 04:55:49
2 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team 00:00:06
3 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis Solutions Credits 00:00:20
4 Simon Philip Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
5 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie 00:00:55
6 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 00:02:03
7 Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence
8 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) UAE Team Emirates 00:02:08
9 Victor De La Parte (Spa) CCC Team 00:02:13
10 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) CCC Team 00:02:15

General Classification

1 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 26:35:26
2 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 00:00:45
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:00:46
4 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 00:01:03
5 Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 00:01:21
6 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:01:45
7 George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma 00:02:20
8 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 00:02:52
9 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 00:03:02
10 Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-QuickStep 00:03:06

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