Soler edges out Yates in dramatic Paris-Nice victory
13 March, 2018, 06:45 | Author: Sammy Rose
"I'm really happy", said Soler, who just secured the biggest win of his career thus far. Their advantage was never that great, but it proved to be enough for Soler to claim his first WorldTour win, while De La Cruz claimed the final stage win for the second year running.
Marc Soler of Spain won the weeklong Paris-Nice race after dislodging overnight leader Simon Yates of Britain with a successful attack in the final stage on Sunday.
This was a brilliant all-round performance by Soler, with the foundations laid with second place in stage four's time trial and an eighth place on stage seven's summit finish that showed pacing and maturity that Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), who battled to keep with the front of the race before cracking and losing more than two minutes, could learn a lot from. "I'm progressing each year and I'm getting used to ride at that level".
Soler had started the day 37 seconds behind Yates in sixth overall, but took bonus seconds in an intermediate sprint and as he rolled over the finish line three seconds behind De la Cruz and Fraile. Soler collected bonus seconds in the second intermediate sprint at La Turbie before Fraile unsuccessfully tried to go solo in the descent of Col d'Eze.
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The retirement of Alberto Contador at the end of the 2017 season left a void in Spanish cycling, a void that Movistar's Marc Soler showed signs of filling with his superb victory in Paris-Nice.
And Yates then made his move to the top of the standings on the penultimate day with victory on the queen stage at La Colmiane, the Briton seizing an opportunity as Sanchez waned.
Another Spaniard, Gorka Izaguirre, took third place overall.
"I'm getting closer. past year I lost Romandie on the last day as well by 20 seconds and now I lost Paris-Nice by four seconds".
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