German Tony Martin of HTC-Highroad hammered home his victory intentions in the Paris-Nice by winning
the sixth stage time trial to take command of the race lead on Friday. Fellow German Andreas Kloden started the 27km race against the clock with a 0sec advantage on Martin but could only finish in fourth, 46sec back, as Martin scorched to a superb stage win two days before the finish.
Racing at an average of 48.5kph, Martin left Britain's Bradley Wiggins in second at 20-seconds with Australian Richie Porte placing a commendable third at 29 adrift to move back up the general classification.
Martin, the recent winner of the Tour of the Algarve, will head into Saturday's penultimate stage - an undulating 215.5km from Brignoles a Biot to Sophia-Antipolis - with a 36sec lead over Kloden.