Paris-Nice stage 7: Schachmann hangs on to win overall, Quintana wins stage
Schachmann survives late attack from second-place Benoot to take overall, Quintana takes stage atop La Colmiane climb.
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Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the overall of Paris-Nice Saturday, while Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) continued his string of early-season success by taking the stage.
Schachmann did just enough to limit the damage caused by an attack in the final kilometer by Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb), who had started just 36 seconds back on the overall. Benoot’s late acceleration bagged him second on the stage, but not enough time to overhaul Schachmann in the GC. Instead, the Belgian had to settle for second overall, with Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling) filling out the GC podium.
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Having won the opening stage and held the leader’s jersey ever since, Schachmann’s overall victory came off the back of a solid performance from his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates, who kept their leader in contention through a stage littered with attacking threats.
“For me it was a really hard finish, the last three kilometers… it was a walk through a world of pain, but right now it’s like being in heaven,” said Schachmann after the race.
“It’s already the fourth year of my career, but it’s the biggest success so far, and one of the most important steps,” he said. “It feels so great, because all of my life people were doubting me as a GC rider, but it was always my dream.”
Quintana won his fifth stage of the season after attacking out of a select GC group with four kilometers to go on the grinding 16-kilometer climb to La Colmiane. After several seasons of disappointment, the Colombian has rocketed back into form with his new French team.
“It’s a come back with elegance, and I like to win with elegance,” said Quintana. “We were very motivated to do everything well this year, and the team worked really hard today for me. People always say ‘Nairo always asks a lot from the team,’ and today, that was the result of me asking a lot from the team.”
Saturday’s seventh stage of Paris-Nice served as the finale of a race scheduled to run for eight stages and finish Sunday. Sunday’s stage was canceled after teams and race organizers decided to cancel the originally-planned closer around Nice due to the impacts of the coronavirus epidemic. As the global health crisis continues to wreak havoc on the spring cycling season, Paris-Nice may have served as the last professional race we see for some weeks.
Results will be available once stage has completed.