Primož Roglič pips the final breakaway rider to secure hat-trick –

Primož Roglič pips the final breakaway rider to secure hat-trick –

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Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) denied breakaway rider Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious) in the closing 150 meters to take his third stage win of the race and extend his GC lead at Paris-Nice.

The Slovenian overhauled Mäder in the closing seconds of stage 7 on Saturday after riding clear from his GC rivals in the closing 400 meters of the grinding Colmiane summit finish.

“Why not, eh?” Roglič said when asked of his late dash for the stage win.

“The team worked really well. At the end there was a possibility, so I went for it,” he said. “It was hard all day, especially from the beginning. A short but sweet stage. In the end, it was really tight, but luckily I managed to come past on the finish line.”

American rider Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar), who started the stage in fifth overall, crossed the line 18th at 1:03 back, and slotted into 10th overall at 2:21 back with one stage left to go.

Mäder took second, while Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished third.

Neilson Powless (EF-Nippo) had enjoyed a long day in the break with Mäder and lasted through until the final five kilometers until the Swiss rider’s relentless attacks dropped the tenacious 24-year-old American.

Roglič now holds a solid 52-second gap ahead of the final stage Sunday.

Astana-Premier Tech crank the pace into the final kilometers

With riders sitting third and fourth on GC, Astana-Premier Tech put numbers on the front of the reduced GC group in the closing kilometers of the 16-kilometer mountaintop finish in an effort to shake out Roglič and Schachmann. Mäder battled solo at the front, 40 seconds ahead, a stage win in the balance.

It wasn’t until Jumbo-Visma took control at 1500 meters to go that the group of GC favorites began fracturing, Steven Kruijswijk and then Roglič set the pace to leave just five riders in the bunch of favorites, which included Schachmann and Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech).

Roglič made his first move at 900 meters to go, motoring away on the shallow gradient as Schachmann clung to his wheel. The duo began to cat and mouse in the final 300 meters, allowing Vlasov and Tiesj Benoot (DSM) to bridge. However, just as the group expanded, Roglič turned on the afterburners to go clear, scorching up the road and passing Mäder just seconds before crossing the line for his 50th career win.

Powless in the early break

Powless and Mäder got into a 13-man break that went clear early in the stage, with two riders from Ineos Grenadiers, Trek-Segafredo, Deceuninck-Quick-Step, and Bahrain Victorious also represented. The bunch gained around three minutes in the first half of the stage before seeing the pace in the peloton behind drop to around 1:20 as the group hit the bottom of the 16-kilometer Colmiane.

As soon as the climb started, five riders popped to leave just eight looking to hold off the clutches of the Bora-Hansgrohe-led bunch.

Powless, Mäder and Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) were the last three in the escape with 10km to go as Jumbo-Visma started the pulling in the reduced peloton with Sam Oomen and George Bennett. Mäder began to pile the pressure in the final seven kilometers, first dropping Elissonde but unable to dislodge Powless until a further handful of accelerations finally distanced the American.

What’s to come

The race wraps up with a short hilly stage played out across a circuit outside of Nice. Like Saturday’s stage, the original parcours for Sunday was re-routed due to COVID restrictions preventing the race from entering the center on Nice.

Paris-Nice Stage 7 Results


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