Sergio Henao wins Paris-Nice after nerve-wracking stage
Mar 12 2017 11:58 pm CET

Sergio Henao wins Paris-Nice after nerve-wracking stage

Sergio Henao has won the 2017 Paris-Nice. The rider of Team Sky managed to keep the leader's jersey after a stage in which Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) was the star fighting till the end.

The last stage of the 'Race to the Sun' had its start and finish in the city of Nice over 115.5 kilometers. Within the first 20 kilometers some riders attempted to escape but were reeled back in by the peloton.

The first ones to succeed were Jose Herrada (Movistar), Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie), Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) and Arnold Jeannesson (Fortuneo-Vital Concept). Later on Woods was dropped but Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and David De la Cruz (Quick Step) joined in.

Some kilometers later other riders made a leap from the peloton and at the end formed a group of 22 cyclists that managed to create a gap of more than two minutes with the main bunch.

During the ascent of the Cote De Peille, Jarlinson Pantano attacked and took his teammate Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) along with him. When the Spaniard felt ready he attacked and the provisional leader Sergio Henao (Team Sky) tried unsuccessfully to stay at his wheel.

During the descent, the rider was joined by 14 others including Diego Ulissi (UAE), Michael Matthews and Sam Oomen (Team Sunweb), Calmejane, De Gendt, and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrein-Merida). Behind them a desperate Henao and Sky tried to accelerate to catch the front group and keep the overall victory.

During the last ascent of the day, the front group broke and only Contador, David de la Cruz (Quick-Step Floors) and Marc Soler (Movistar) remained. The chasers were led by a Henao that was seeing his victory disappear like snow in the sun.

Henao managed to reduce the gap on the last descent while Contador was struggling to win the stage to get the bonification seconds and save the day. De la Cruz showed to have the strongest legs in the final kilometer and took the stage victory, keeping the Spaniard away from the first place in the General Classification.

Sergio Henao took the overall victory by only two seconds. Contador and Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) got the second and fourth position of the podium.
Photo of Sergio Henao (cropped) by Team Sky.





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