Paris-Nice: Primož Roglič tumbles out of GC lead as Magnus Cort wins final stage
Max Schachmann takes overall title after Roglič crashed with 25km to go.
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Magnus Cort (EF Education Nippo) won a dramatic final stage of Paris-Nice on Sunday.
The short frantic race through the foothills of the Alps saw overnight GC leader Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) lose his grip on the classification. The Slovenian crashed in the closing hour of the race and was left isolated as he desperately attempted to chase back to the peloton. Roglič ended the stage over two minutes down and tumbled out of the classification.
Rather than Roglič, it was Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) who took GC victory to defend his title from 2020. Astana-Premier Tech duo Aleksandr Vlasov and Ion Izagirre took second and third on the podium.
“It was not the stage I expected, I made some mistakes,” Roglič said after the race. “In the first fall I dislocated my left shoulder, then I fell again … I gave it my all, but I couldn’t catch up with the riders in front. It’s a shame, but let’s turn the page and look at the next races.”
“I would like to have a few easier days in the final stage, but that’s the way this sport is. I will go back and fight to win more races,” he continued. “I really gave it my all, this is how it ended. Obviously, I am disappointed, but the world does not stop and I look forward.”
Cort won the stage from a reduced bunch sprint, beating Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) and Pierre Latour (Total Direct Energie) to take his first victory of the season. Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) finished in the lead group to finish eighth overall as he takes his opening steps into GC racing.
“It’s a perfect way to finish. I couldn’t be happier,” Cort said. “It was a very intense stage … In the end it came down to a sprint and I was still there, so I’m very happy.
At 25km to go, Roglič was pictured with a large tear in his shorts and heavy grazing having crashed off-camera, his second fall of the race. The Slovenian had been forced to change bikes after the incident and fell off the GC group just as the pace was starting to heat up ahead of the final classified climb of the day.
🛠 🇸🇮@rogla a été victime d'un problème mécanique. Il a dû changer de vélo et tente de réintégrer le peloton.
🛠 🇸🇮@rogla had a mechanical problem. He had to change his bike and is trying to get back into the peloton. #ParisNice pic.twitter.com/u0NCXsol7l
— Paris-Nice (@ParisNice) March 14, 2021
Jumbo-Visma dropped back in an effort to pull Roglič back to the main peloton as Bora-Hansgrohe drilled the pace for Schachmann, who started the day second overall. After around 5km of towing the Slovenian toward the charging group, George Bennett and the rest of Roglič’s domestiques blew up to leave the overnight race-leader chasing solo and losing time.
Bora-Hansgrohe and Astana-Premier Tech pulled hard in the peloton as they looked to put as much time into Roglič as possible for Schachmann, Vlasov and Izagirre.
A flurry of attacks went through the final 10km but none looked likely to stick before Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious) and Krists Neilands (Israel Start-Up Nation) grabbed a handful of seconds. The trio was pulled back shortly after escaping as Team DSM set up the final sprint.
Jorgenson in the early flurries
A number of attacks flew in the opening lap, with Jorgenson attempting a solo escape before being brought back.
It took around 45km of racing for the first breakaway to establish before a second group joined them, while Jumbo-Visma controlled the peloton after Roglič had taken an early fall.
Attacks started to fly through the second ascent of the Duranus climb midway through the race, and the escape group grew, split and splintered before finally being swept up by the peloton at around 10km to go.
Results will be available once stage has completed.