Geraint Thomas wins Paris-Nice

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) turned a disappointing Paris-Nice around by taking an impressive victory on a very exciting and dramatic final stage of the French race. Having joined an early breakaway, he caught up with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) and Richie Porte (BMC) when the pair attacked on Col d’Eze and easily beat his companions in the sprint in Nice. Geraint Thomas (Sky) overcame a huge crisis in the finale to reach the finish 5 seconds later to take the overall victory with a narrow 4-second advantage over Contador while Porte passed Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) to move into third.

“When he went on [the Cote de] Peille, at first, I stuck with the team. I felt good; I felt strong. But when he went halfway up the Col d’Eze my legs just gave way. It was horrible,” Thomas said after the stage. “I thought that it was all over, and then I got dropped from the other group, and I thought I was going to struggle to stay on the podium. Sergio stayed with me. I had a 54 chainring on for the descent, in case I had to chase and I certainly needed that in the end. It was just full gas and to finally catch back in the last few k. It was really good.

“It’s incredible; it ’s hard to believe. Contador, man, he’s one of the best stage racers ever. Richie, he won nearly every stage race he did last year so to beat those two I can’t believe it. I obviously came here wanting to do the best I could and win but to actually do it is the biggest win for sure of my whole career and I’m over the moon.”

Paris-Nice 2016 – stage 7 results:

1 Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)

3:16:09

2 Alberto Contador (Tinkoff)

,,

3 Richie Porte (BMC)

,,

4 Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal)

+05”

5 Simon Yates (Orica GreenEDGE)

,,

6 Arnold Jeannesson (Cofidis)

,,

7 Rui Costa (Lampre – Merida)

,,

8 Jesus Herrada (Movistar)

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9 Romain Bardet (AG2R)

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10 Jon Izaguirre (Movistar)

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Final general classification:

1 Geraint Thomas (Sky)

27:26:40

2 Alberto Contador (Tinkoff)

+04”

3 Richie Porte (BMC)

+12”

4 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha)

+20”

5 Jon Izaguirre (Movistar)

+37”

6 Sergio Henao (Sky)

+44”

7 Simon Yates (Orica GreenEDGE)

,,

8 Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal)

+51”

9 Romain Bardet (AG2R)

+01’00”

10 Rui Costa (Lampre – Merida)

+01’07”

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alberto contador Col d'Èze geraint thomas paris-nice richie porte Sky tim wellens

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