1. VeloNews / Race Report / Paris-Nice, stage 8: De la Cruz takes stage, Soler steals overall win

Paris-Nice, stage 8: De la Cruz takes stage, Soler steals overall win

By VeloNews.com • Published
David De La Cruz (Sky) won the final stage of Paris-Nice for the second year-in-a-row. Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

David De la Cruz (Sky) won the final stage of Paris-Nice for the second year-in-a-row, as Marc Soler (Movistar) took the overall title on an exciting day of racing along the Mediterranean coast.

“The Race to the Sun” did not live up to its name on Sunday, as rain poured down on the riders throughout the day. Soler began the stage sixth overall, only 37 seconds behind Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). He took the race into his own hands by going on the attack midway through the short 110-kilometer stage. He would have an able companion in De la Cruz and the duo would catch the sole leader at the time, Omar Fraile (Astana), rather quickly.

The trio would split to pieces on the final climb of the day, which peaked a mere nine kilometers from the finish, which was in the valley below in the heart of Nice. However, Soler, De la Cruz, and Fraile would get back together on the descent.

Meanwhile, race leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) was in trouble behind. He was cracking under the pressure of attacks from the Izagirre brothers, Gorka and Ion (Bahrain-Merida), and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal). The Izagirre brothers would crash on the descent and by the time they got going again, the duo joined Yates in chasing Wellens.

Soler drove the leaders to the line, as he attempted to steal the yellow jersey away from Yates on the final day. The gap between Yates and him showed it was touch and go whether he would take the overall title.

De la Cruz took the stage win over Fraile with Soler in third. Soler received bonus seconds for capturing third on the day.

Yates and the Izagirre brothers would catch Wellens and the other attackers, as the road flattened out along the coast. The group powered to the line, but they would not hit the line fast enough for Yates. The Briton lost the overall title to Soler by a mere four seconds.

Gorka and Ion Izagirre finished third and fourth overall respectively.

Top-10 stage 8

  • 1. David De La Cruz, TEAM SKY, in 02:53:06
  • 2. Omar Fraile, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 0:00
  • 3. Marc Soler, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:03
  • 4. Patrick Konrad, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:38
  • 5. Tim Wellens, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 0:38
  • 6. Simon Yates, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, at 0:38
  • 7. Dylan Teuns, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:38
  • 8. Richard Carapaz, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:38
  • 9. Gorka Izagirre, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 0:38
  • 10. Ion Izagirre, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 0:38

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Marc Soler, MOVISTAR TEAM, in 30:22:41
  • 2. Simon Yates, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, at 0:04
  • 3. Gorka Izagirre, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 0:14
  • 4. Ion Izagirre, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 0:16
  • 5. Tim Wellens, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 0:16
  • 6. Dylan Teuns, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:32
  • 7. Patrick Konrad, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:44
  • 8. Alexis Vuillermoz, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:54
  • 9. David De La Cruz, TEAM SKY, at 2:15
  • 10. Felix Grosschartner, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 2:35

The final stage of Paris-Nice on Sunday was a classic 110-kilometer jaunt that started and finished in the Mediterranean town of Nice. The climbs around Nice have seen many battles for the overall title in recent years and 2018 looked to be no different. The top four in the general classification were separated by just 13 seconds and the top eight places were all within a minute of each other. Six climbs were packed into the short stage with the final climb topping out just nine kilometers from the finish line.

De la Cruz, Jakob Fuglsang and Fraile (Astana) and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) attacked on the first climb of the day, as the peloton shattered. Soon, just 24 riders remained in the chasing peloton and all of the heavy hitters were there. The leading quartet would be caught before the summit and Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) crossed the summit first to take the KOM points. De Gendt would seel the win in the competition on the second climb of the day.

An intermediate sprint came just 24 kilometers into the stage and saw the general classification contenders sprinting for the line. There were bonus seconds available for the top three placings. Gorka Izagirre took a three-second bonus with Wellens earning a two-second bonus and Yates a one-second bonus. Thus, Yates’ lead was down to just 10 seconds.

Julian Alpahilippe (Quick-Step Floors), Fuglsang, and Fraile attacked before the second climb of the day and built themselves an advantage of about 40 seconds over a group of about 20 riders including the yellow jersey of race leader Yates. Over the top of the climb, the trio took risks on the descent to try to extend their lead, as rain pelted the riders. Fuglsang would crash out of the lead, but he would remount and join the yellow jersey group.

The leading duo of Alaphilippe and Fraile worked well together over the third climb of the day, but Alaphilippe’s legs would give way on the fourth climb. Fraile left the Frenchman behind and set off alone with still nearly 50 kilometers to race. Meanwhile, attacks were coming out of the yellow jersey group with Soler, De la Cruz, and Gorka Izagirre all jumping ahead. Izagirre would drop back to the yellow jersey.

De la Cruz and Soler caught Fraile on the descent off of the fourth climb of the day, as the yellow jersey group was over a minute behind. Soler began the day just 37 seconds behind Yates. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) was doing incredible work at the front of the yellow jersey group in support of Yates.

The leading trio stuck together over the penultimate climb of the day, the cat. 1 Col d’Eze, but Fraile set off alone on the descent. It wasn’t necessarily an attack, but more Fraile was the superior descender out of the trio. However, the trio was back together to begin the Col des Quatre Chemins, the final climb of the day. From the top, it was a fast nine-kilometer descent to the finish on the Mediterranean coast.

Race leader Yates suffered in the chase group on the final climb behind the leading trio. The Mitchelton-Scott rider lost contact with the riders that greatly threatened his yellow jersey. Wellens, the Izagirre brothers, and others jumped away from Yates on the climb.

Yates would get a bit of luck of the descent though, as Ion Izagirre crashed on a low-speed hairpin turn and took out his brother. Both riders remounted quickly, but they lost contact with Wellens. The brothers joined Yates’ group. It was the firepower that Yates needed to get back to Wellens.

The leading trio had separated on the climb, but they were back together on the descent. They held around a 40-second advantage over the Wellens group and an even larger advantage over the yellow jersey group. Soler looked set to be the 2018 winner of Paris-Nice.

The crash of the Izagirre brothers did not help Soler in capturing the overall title, as the Izagirre brothers helped Yates bridge to Wellens and reduce the gap to Soler. The bonus seconds available for the top three finishers were definitely going to play a part.

Soler led nearly the entire final kilometer, as De la Cruz and Fraile played poker behind him. Soler was the only one with a chance at overall victory and the other two were focused on the stage win. Soler would be gapped in the sprint to the line, as De la Cruz had enough to beat Fraile by just half a wheel.

Yates and company crossed the line 38 seconds behind De la Cruz and 35 seconds behind Soler. With the bonus seconds he earned, Soler took the overall title by a mere four seconds.

The Izagirre brothers finished alongside Yates to take third and fourth overall.

Full results stage 8

  • 1. David De La Cruz Melgarejo, (ESP) TEAM SKY, in 2:53:06
  • 2. Omar Fraile Matarranz, (ESP) ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 3. Marc Soler, (ESP) MOVISTAR TEAM, at :03
  • 4. Patrick Konrad, (AUT) BORA – HANSGROHE, at :38
  • 5. Tim Wellens, (BEL) LOTTO SOUDAL, at :38
  • 6. Simon Philip Yates, (GBR) MITCHELTON – SCOTT, at :38
  • 7. Dylan Teuns, (BEL) BMC RACING TEAM, at :38
  • 8. Richard Carapaz, (ECU) MOVISTAR TEAM, at :38
  • 9. Gorka Izaguirre Insausti, (ESP) BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :38
  • 10. Jon Izaguirre Insausti, (ESP) BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :38
  • 11. Alexis Vuillermoz, (FRA) AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :38
  • 12. Felix Grossschartner, (AUT) BORA – HANSGROHE, at :55
  • 13. Yves Lampaert, (BEL) QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 01:30
  • 14. Michael Valgren Andersen, (DEN) ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 01:30
  • 15. Jakob Fuglsang, (DEN) ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 02:45
  • 16. Warren Barguil, (FRA) TEAM FORTUNEO – SAMSIC, at 02:45
  • 17. Paul Martens, (GER) TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 03:03
  • 18. Oliver Naesen, (BEL) AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 03:44
  • 19. Rudy Molard, (FRA) GROUPAMA – FDJ, at 03:44
  • 20. Sam Oomen, (NED) TEAM SUNWEB, at 03:44
  • 21. Pierre Rolland, (FRA) TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE, at 03:44
  • 22. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya, (COL) TEAM SKY, at 03:44
  • 23. Antonio Nibali, (ITA) BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 03:46
  • 24. Matteo Trentin, (ITA) MITCHELTON – SCOTT, at 03:46
  • 25. Ilnur Zakarin, (RUS) TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 06:13
  • 26. Jurgen Roelandts, (BEL) BMC RACING TEAM, at 06:26
  • 27. Jonathan Hivert, (FRA) DIRECT ENERGIE, at 08:32
  • 28. Jesus Herrada, (ESP) COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 08:32
  • 29. Mikael Cherel, (FRA) AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 08:43
  • 30. Tony Gallopin, (FRA) AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 08:43
  • 31. Christopher Juul Jensen, (DEN) MITCHELTON – SCOTT, at 09:42
  • 32. Hugo Houle, (CAN) ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 09:45
  • 33. Imanol Erviti, (ESP) MOVISTAR TEAM, at 10:10
  • 34. Roman Kreuziger, (CZE) MITCHELTON – SCOTT, at 12:56
  • 35. Julian Alaphilippe, (FRA) QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 12:58
  • 36. Lars Bak Ytting, (DEN) LOTTO SOUDAL, at 13:51
  • 37. Remy Di Gregorio, (FRA) DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM, at 14:05
  • 38. Thomas De Gendt, (BEL) LOTTO SOUDAL, at 14:05
  • 39. Delio Fernandez Cruz, (ESP) DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM, at 14:05
  • 40. Sylvain Chavanel, (FRA) DIRECT ENERGIE, at 14:05
  • 41. Benjamin King, (USA) TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 14:05
  • 42. Diego Rosa, (ITA) TEAM SKY, at 14:05
  • 43. Jose Herrada, (ESP) COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 14:05
  • 44. Pawel Poljanski, (POL) BORA – HANSGROHE, at 14:05
  • 45. Nicolas Edet, (FRA) COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 14:05
  • 46. Serge Pauwels, (BEL) TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 14:05
  • 47. Cyril Gautier, (FRA) AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 14:05
  • 48. Natnael Berhane, (ERI) TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 14:05
  • 49. Robert Gesink, (NED) TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 14:05
  • 50. Magnus Cort Nielsen, (DEN) ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 14:05
  • 51. Dylan Van Baarle, (NED) TEAM SKY, at 14:05
  • 52. Pierre Luc Perichon, (FRA) TEAM FORTUNEO – SAMSIC, at 14:05
  • 53. Eduardo Sepulveda, (ARG) MOVISTAR TEAM, at 14:05
  • 54. Amael Moinard, (FRA) TEAM FORTUNEO – SAMSIC, at 14:05
  • 55. David Lopez Garcia, (ESP) TEAM SKY, at 14:05
  • 56. Luis León Sanchez, (ESP) ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 14:05
  • 57. Dayer Quintana, (COL) MOVISTAR TEAM, at 14:05
  • 58. Sebastian Langeveld, (NED) TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE, at 14:05
  • 59. Alessandro De Marchi, (ITA) BMC RACING TEAM, at 14:10
  • 60. Bauke Mollema, (NED) TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 19:11
  • 61. Tiago Machado, (POR) TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 21:50
  • 62. Thomas Boudat, (FRA) DIRECT ENERGIE, at 23:42
  • 63. Romain Combaud, (FRA) DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM, at 23:42
  • 64. Julien Bernard, (FRA) TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 23:42
  • 65. Hector Carretero, (ESP) MOVISTAR TEAM, at 23:42
  • 66. Carlos Barbero, (ESP) MOVISTAR TEAM, at 23:42
  • 67. Jarlinson Pantano Gomez, (COL) TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 23:42
  • 68. Michael Schwarzmann, (GER) BORA – HANSGROHE, at 23:42
  • 69. Jay Robert Thomson, (RSA) TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 24:34
  • 70. Ryan Gibbons, (RSA) TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 24:34
  • 71. Stijn Vandenbergh, (BEL) AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 25:36
  • 72. Ivan Garcia Cortina, (ESP) BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 25:36
  • 73. Michael MØrkØv, (DEN) QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 25:36
  • 74. Markel Irizar Aramburu, (ESP) TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 25:36
  • 75. Axel Domont, (FRA) AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 25:36
  • 76. Gregory Rast, (SUI) TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 25:36
  • 77. Roy Curvers, (NED) TEAM SUNWEB, at 25:36
  • 78. Pavel Kochetkov, (RUS) TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 25:36

Final GC

  • 1. Marc Soler, (ESP) MOVISTAR TEAM, in 30:22:41
  • 2. Simon Philip Yates, (GBR) MITCHELTON – SCOTT, at :04
  • 3. Gorka Izaguirre Insausti, (ESP) BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :14
  • 4. Jon Izaguirre Insausti, (ESP) BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :16
  • 5. Tim Wellens, (BEL) LOTTO SOUDAL, at :16
  • 6. Dylan Teuns, (BEL) BMC RACING TEAM, at :32
  • 7. Patrick Konrad, (AUT) BORA – HANSGROHE, at :44
  • 8. Alexis Vuillermoz, (FRA) AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 01:54
  • 9. David De La Cruz Melgarejo, (ESP) TEAM SKY, at 02:15
  • 10. Felix Grossschartner, (AUT) BORA – HANSGROHE, at 02:35
  • 11. Richard Carapaz, (ECU) MOVISTAR TEAM, at 03:47
  • 12. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya, (COL) TEAM SKY, at 04:08
  • 13. Sam Oomen, (NED) TEAM SUNWEB, at 05:03
  • 14. Jakob Fuglsang, (DEN) ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 05:51
  • 15. Rudy Molard, (FRA) GROUPAMA – FDJ, at 08:16
  • 16. Ilnur Zakarin, (RUS) TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 11:35
  • 17. Warren Barguil, (FRA) TEAM FORTUNEO – SAMSIC, at 12:45
  • 18. Julian Alaphilippe, (FRA) QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 14:13
  • 19. Roman Kreuziger, (CZE) MITCHELTON – SCOTT, at 14:53
  • 20. Mikael Cherel, (FRA) AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 16:14
  • 21. Luis León Sanchez, (ESP) ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 17:19
  • 22. Remy Di Gregorio, (FRA) DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM, at 20:15
  • 23. Pierre Rolland, (FRA) TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE, at 22:09
  • 24. Jose Herrada, (ESP) COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 22:36
  • 25. Oliver Naesen, (BEL) AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 22:59
  • 26. Omar Fraile Matarranz, (ESP) ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 24:25
  • 27. Cyril Gautier, (FRA) AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 24:47
  • 28. Tony Gallopin, (FRA) AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 28:04
  • 29. Pawel Poljanski, (POL) BORA – HANSGROHE, at 29:13
  • 30. Bauke Mollema, (NED) TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 29:47
  • 31. Michael Valgren Andersen, (DEN) ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 31:15
  • 32. Matteo Trentin, (ITA) MITCHELTON – SCOTT, at 33:01
  • 33. Diego Rosa, (ITA) TEAM SKY, at 36:08
  • 34. Natnael Berhane, (ERI) TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 37:50
  • 35. Jurgen Roelandts, (BEL) BMC RACING TEAM, at 37:51
  • 36. Alessandro De Marchi, (ITA) BMC RACING TEAM, at 38:07
  • 37. Delio Fernandez Cruz, (ESP) DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM, at 38:31
  • 38. Robert Gesink, (NED) TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 38:35
  • 39. Jarlinson Pantano Gomez, (COL) TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 40:59
  • 40. Yves Lampaert, (BEL) QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 41:07
  • 41. Jonathan Hivert, (FRA) DIRECT ENERGIE, at 43:18
  • 42. Nicolas Edet, (FRA) COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 44:04
  • 43. Jesus Herrada, (ESP) COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 44:31
  • 44. Imanol Erviti, (ESP) MOVISTAR TEAM, at 45:25
  • 45. Benjamin King, (USA) TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 45:36
  • 46. Julien Bernard, (FRA) TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 46:03
  • 47. Christopher Juul Jensen, (DEN) MITCHELTON – SCOTT, at 47:41
  • 48. Eduardo Sepulveda, (ARG) MOVISTAR TEAM, at 47:52
  • 49. Serge Pauwels, (BEL) TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 48:43
  • 50. Antonio Nibali, (ITA) BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 51:20
  • 51. Tiago Machado, (POR) TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 52:15
  • 52. Magnus Cort Nielsen, (DEN) ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 52:49
  • 53. Romain Combaud, (FRA) DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM, at 53:58
  • 54. Paul Martens, (GER) TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 55:52
  • 55. Amael Moinard, (FRA) TEAM FORTUNEO – SAMSIC, at 57:40
  • 56. Sylvain Chavanel, (FRA) DIRECT ENERGIE, at 59:41
  • 57. Hugo Houle, (CAN) ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 1:00:27
  • 58. Sebastian Langeveld, (NED) TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE, at 1:02:07
  • 59. Hector Carretero, (ESP) MOVISTAR TEAM, at 1:04:59
  • 60. Dayer Quintana, (COL) MOVISTAR TEAM, at 1:05:15
  • 61. Axel Domont, (FRA) AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:06:09
  • 62. Ivan Garcia Cortina, (ESP) BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 1:08:41
  • 63. Pierre Luc Perichon, (FRA) TEAM FORTUNEO – SAMSIC, at 1:08:54
  • 64. David Lopez Garcia, (ESP) TEAM SKY, at 1:09:32
  • 65. Thomas De Gendt, (BEL) LOTTO SOUDAL, at 1:10:49
  • 66. Carlos Barbero, (ESP) MOVISTAR TEAM, at 1:11:03
  • 67. Pavel Kochetkov, (RUS) TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 1:13:02
  • 68. Gregory Rast, (SUI) TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 1:13:27
  • 69. Dylan Van Baarle, (NED) TEAM SKY, at 1:14:11
  • 70. Thomas Boudat, (FRA) DIRECT ENERGIE, at 1:16:06
  • 71. Stijn Vandenbergh, (BEL) AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:16:44
  • 72. Roy Curvers, (NED) TEAM SUNWEB, at 1:19:07
  • 73. Ryan Gibbons, (RSA) TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 1:22:21
  • 74. Lars Bak Ytting, (DEN) LOTTO SOUDAL, at 1:23:52
  • 75. Michael Schwarzmann, (GER) BORA – HANSGROHE, at 1:27:31
  • 76. Markel Irizar Aramburu, (ESP) TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 1:28:41
  • 77. Jay Robert Thomson, (RSA) TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 1:36:14
  • 78. Michael MØrkØv, (DEN) QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 1:37:11

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