Spain's Alberto Contador (Astana) won the sixth stage of Paris-Nice on Friday to take the leader's yellow jersey with two day's racing left.
Contador, winner of the 2007 Tour de France and last year's Tours of Italy and Spain, finished ahead of Frank Schlek (Saxo Bank), at the finish at an altitude of 1,600 metres.
An eight-rider breakaway soon after the start of the stage had split the racers, but Contador clawed his way back into the reckoning.
After a first attack by German Jens Voigt, Contador managed to break free with seven kilometres remaining and keep up his pace for his second stage win after his time-trial victory on the first day.
Overnight yellow jersey wearer Sylvain Chavanel suffered in the final run-in and was 1 minute, 50 seconds off Contador's pace.
In the overall standings, Contador now stands 1:13 ahead of compatriot Luis Leon Sanchez, with Chavanel a further 11seconds adrift.
Earlier in the day French Bougyues Telecom rider Thomas Voeckler suffered a broken collarbone in a fall shortly after the start of the stage at Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux.
Voeckler was taken immediately to a hospital in Orange where he underwent surgery. The former yellow jersey holder on the Tour de France in 2004 was standing 16th in the overall Paris-Nice standings after finishing second in Thursday's fifth stage.
Saturday sees the peloton racing a 191km seventh stage from Manosque to Fayence.
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© BikeRadar & AFP 2009