Monaco resident Tadej Pogacar won a maiden Paris-Nice title on Sunday after making a late break at the Col d’Èze on the final stage of the iconic race.
With three victories over a week of intense racing from the French capital to the Riviera, he succeeded compatriot Primoz Roglic in claiming the famous yellow jersey on the Promenade des Anglais.
Pogacar, who knows these roads well, arrived for the final two stages with a slender lead over David Gaudu, and couldn’t extend that advantage during the sixth stage, which was ultimately cancelled due to strong winds from Storm Larisa.
A French resurgence
The race-winning moment came 20km from the finish line in Nice. On the way back from La Turbie, Pogacar made the break on an ascent at the Col d’Èze, and despite attempts to stick to his wheel, the peloton couldn’t follow. It was ultimately a comfortable victory for Pogacar, who beat Gaudu by 53 seconds.
Gaudu’s final ranking was the best of any Frenchman in the race since Sandy Casar back in 2002. Jonas Vingegaard completed the podium.
Pogacar, a two-time Tour de France winner, will now be setting his sights on winning the Tour later this year.
In order to regain the Tour de France, won by Vingegaard last year, Pogacar has altered his schedule this year, and has got the season off to a dream start.
“It was always a dream to win Paris-Nice. The competition here was really huge. To be alongside David Gaudu and Jonas Vingegaard on the podium is special,” said an elated Pogacar.
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Photo by Petar Milosevic