With the trauma of last year in mind – Roglic lost the overall victory in the final stage – the yellow Slovenian went to battle in the short but hot final stage of Paris-Nice.
The stormy weather and challenging Jumbo-Visma track didn’t bother racing all day. The killer pace already caused casualties on the first climb of the day, it would be a real battle of attrition.
In a weak group of candidates, Martinez and Quintana made the shots, but Wut van Aert parried in the service of captain Roglic. Under the hard work of the Belgian champion, only the best remained.
Tandem Jumbo seemed to have the race in their grip, but powerful Simon Yates suddenly caused a panic over the steep wings of Col d’Èze. Roglic had no answer, but could count on a brilliant Van Aert who kept the difference limited. The rest was long gone.
In the final kilometers Van Art and Roglic were still hitting their deficit, but the powerful Yates didn’t pay off. Ten seconds later, the throttled Roglic crossed the line at foreman van Aert’s wheel: Operation yellow completed.
Yates: ‘The second time I just missed the overall win, maybe someday he’ll work out’
“I am at peace with not having the overall victory, I especially wanted to win the stage today,” said day winner Yates after the stage. “I knew I was too late in arranging to make up for the day.”
“Of course the overall victory was still in my head, but I knew I was going to waste time going down. I’m not the best and with the guys behind me I knew it was going to be tough.”
“The weather made it difficult, but I’ve done it here in the past, so I was prepared for it. I was well dressed today. It’s the second time I’ve just missed a total win, maybe someday it will work.”
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