Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) defended his Paris-Nice title in dramatic circumstances as Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) suffered another late collapse, and a dislocated shoulder, in France.
Magnus Cort swept to Stage 8 victory in a sprint for the line but all the drama happened earlier on a crazy final day that was expected to be a procession.
Historically, Paris-Nice has been won by slender margins but Roglic rolled out on Sunday with a 52-second advantage over Schachmann.
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Then it went wrong. Roglic crashed twice on descents, revealing later he had dislocated his shoulder in the first, and was then distanced due to a split in the peloton.
The Slovenian, sporting a huge road rash on his left thigh, set about trying to close the gap with no teammates left to help but the peloton, driven on by Bora, kept him away.
That soon propelled Schachmann into the virtual lead, with Astana duo Aleksandr Vlasov and Ion Izagirre 19 and 23 seconds adrift respectively and eager to attack.
Down the road, Roglic was trying in vain to close the gap – having a huge scare along with Tim Declercq (Deceuninck–QuickStep) when he misjudged a corner and almost plummeted down a steep drop.
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Schachmann managed to close down attacks, particularly from Izagirre, before finishing safely in the bunch behind Cort in 10th to avoid any late drama. Roglic trundled home over three minutes after the leaders, slipping outside the top 10 in GC.
It was another disastrous conclusion to a stage race in France for Roglic, with memories of his Tour de France time trial collapse brought flooding back as Schachmann celebrated a title that should have been his.
It was an eventful weekend for the 31-year-old, who caused controversy on Stage 7 after sweeping past lone escapee Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious) with the finish line in sight.
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Paris-Nice final standings
- 1. Max Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 28:49:51
- 2. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech +19
- 3. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech +23
- 4. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Team BikeExchange +41
- 5. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team DSM +42
- 6. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis +1:14
- 7. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious +1:18
- 8. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar Team +1:29
- 9. Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team +1:31
- 10. Gino Mader (Swi) Bahrain Victorious +1:32
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