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Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) sealed the Paris-Nice title in style, attacking on the Col d’Eze and descending solo in Nice to claim a third stage victory in his yellow jersey.
The grand finale of ‘The Race to the Sun’ once again took the riders into the hills behind Nice that have caused so much last-minute drama in past editions, but Pogačar took all tension out of the equation with a dominant display.
The peloton split during the first few climbs, but Pogačar’s men from UAE Team Emirates quickly took over and the Slovenian himself then took charge on the final ascent of the Col d. ‘eze.
He made his move 4km from the top of the 6km climb and it immediately looked decisive. At the top he had opened up a 45 second lead over his scrambling rivals and he made no mistakes on the 15km descent to Nice.
Jonas Vingaard (Jumbo-Visma) took second place after another day in which the superiority of his rival was still asserted. The Dane expelled David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), who took third place on the stage to finish second overall, sandwiched between the last two Tour de France champions.
Simon Yates (Jayco-AlUla), who started hostilities at Col d’Eze, finished fourth in the same group, the last member of which was Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar).
They were followed home 10 seconds later by a final group of five GC riders: Neilson Powless (EF-EasyPost), Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers), Roman Bardet (DSM) and the Bahrain Victorious duo of Jack Haig and Gino Mader.
Unlike previous editions, it was not a final that put the general classification on the edge, and the only change was that Haig was ahead of Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies) in 10th. Jorgenson’s impressive run almost propelled him past Bardet to seventh, but he lost a single second.
“It was always my dream to win Paris-Nice and now I’ve done it, it’s amazing,” said Pogačar, who opted for – and won – Tirreno-Adriatico for the past two seasons.
“They say attack is the best defence. I really know these roads, I train a lot here. I knew exactly how my legs were on the final climb and how much I could spend to get to the top. I was really good in maths today, I calculated well.”
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