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Primož Roglič was able to stay upright on the final stage of Paris-Nice, and with the help of his Jumbo-Visma teammate Wout van Aert, he secured the overall title of the iconic French event. A solid late-race attack delivered a stage victory for Simon Yates (BikeExchange), his first win since claiming stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia last season.
“I just wanted the stage today,” Yates said at the finish. “The GC was already too far away for me, and to take that much time today would have been a really big ask, so I’m really happy with the stage win.”
For the second day in a row, the top general classification contenders led the race at Paris-Nice, with one notable exception. After taking a few days off from the action, Van Aert was again at the front of affairs to assist his Jumbo-Visma teammate secure the yellow jersey.
On the penultimate climb of the day, Côte de Peille Van Aert, Primož Roglič, Nairo Quintana, and S. Yates followed an attack by Daniel Martínez that left the rest of the race behind. Van Aert quickly took over the pacemaking for Roglič.
Unfortunately, Dani Martinez suffered from a flat tire after the penultimate climb with 31 km to go and was eventually reabsorbed by the chasing peloton a little less than a minute behind the front of the race.
With 19 km and one climb to go, Simon Yates attacked Van Aert, Roglič and Quintana. The pressure of the attack and speed of the chase led by Van Aert dropped Quintana from the chasing group and left the race in the hands of the yellow and green jerseys.
Yates led the race by only 19 seconds as he crested the Col d’Èze, and his gap grew on the descent into Nice. However, his advantage dropped as the road flatted out into the city. It was touch and go with 2 km to go, as Yates led by seven seconds over the two Jumbo-Visma men.
The Briton was able to hold on to his lead and celebrated the stage victory and second overall, with Van Aert and Roglič riding to the line nine seconds later.
“I have to admit, it was easier, and I am more happy at least than last year,” Roglič said of the overall victory. “A big thanks to my whole team, especially Wout there at the end. Half-human, half motor, Wout can do everything.”
“I was really suffering and fighting over the climb to limit the losses. Luckily Wout had a super day.”
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