Ion Izagirre wins last stage of Paris-Nice, Egan Bernal takes overall victory
Mar 17 2019 11:50 pm CET

Ion Izagirre wins last stage of Paris-Nice, Egan Bernal takes overall victory
Ion Izagirre wins last stage of Paris-Nice, Egan Bernal takes overall victory
Photo of Ion Izagirre by Astana Pro Team

Astana's Ion Izagirre has won the last stage of Paris-Nice. Despite Nairo Quintana's efforts throughout the stage, Egan Bernal successfully defended the overall lead.

The last stage of the French race was 110 kilometres long with start and finish in Nice and included four climbs of the third category and two of the first. A group of ten riders formed a breakaway in the first kilometres and featured names like Ion Izagirre, Daniel Martinez, Bob Jungels, Dylan Teuns, Ilnur Zakarin, Matteo Trentin and Nils Politt.

As the kilometres past, the front group grew until 30 riders formed part of it. With around 50 kilometres to go, Trentin, Tejay Van Garderen and Julien El Fares attacked from the front group and created a gap while behind the chasers group got slimmer and some of its members rejoined the peloton.

At around 47 kilometres to go, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) attacked from the peloton and joined the chasers, where some of his teammates were waiting for him. At the same time, Van Garderen made a move at the front and continued by himself while his former companions stayed behind and eventually joined the chase group.

With 42 kilometres to go, Van Garderen was caught by the chase group led by Quintana who was motivated as the gap with the peloton and Egan Bernal kept growing. After the penultimate ascent of the day, Quintana was the only Movistar rider left in the front group and had to do most of the pulling by himself.

In the last climb of the day, Van Garderen was the first to make a move in the front group and took Astana's Ion Izagirre with him. Izagirre seemed to have better legs and left the American of EF Education First to be caught by the Quintana group.

At the back, in Bernal's group, AG2R La Mondiale's Romain Bardet attacked but was soon reeled back in by the group pulled by Sky. In the Quintana group, the next rider to try his luck was Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) but his attempt was also successfully repelled by the rest.

Izagirre crossed the finish line on his own, 18 seconds ahead of Oliver Naesen, Wilco Kelderman, Daniel Martinez and Feliz Grossschartner. Quintana arrived to the finish line ahead of Bernal, but without a gap big enough to take the GC lead.

The Colombian of Team Sky crossed the line while shaking hands with Michal Kwiatkowski and took his second overall victory in a WorldTour race. Bernal had already won the Amgen Tour of California in 2018.

Quintana and Kwiatkowski stepped on the second and third positions of the final podium.



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