Porte Wins Paris-Nice
Richie Porte (Team Sky) has won his second Paris-Nice. The Australian, who won the 2013 edition of the Race to the Sun, made up 0:36 in winning Stage 7, a 9.5-km, uphill time trial from Nice to Col d’Eze, in 20:23. Simon Spilak (Katusha) finished second at 0:13, and Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) took third at 0:24.
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), who won the race’s King of the Mountains competition, set the early standard with a 21:19. Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin p/b POC) eclipsed De Gendt’s time with a 21:00, only to see Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) post a 20:52.
Eventually, the GC contenders took their shots. Spilak traversed the course in 20:36. Costa, who was attempting to vault over Spilak into third overall, had to settle for fourth when he rode a 20:47. Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick Step), who began the day 0:01 behind Porte in third place, ceded half a minute to Porte in finishing fifth but moved up to second overall. Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) jumped from sixth to first with yesterday’s solo win, only to plummet back to sixth with his performance today.
Porte complimented Gallopin and said that he prizes his second win in Paris-Nice more than his first. “Credit to Tony [Gallopin],” the Australian said. “I was a little bit nervous going into the day. Geraint and I threw time away yesterday–we were in a fantastic position, and for both of us to crash like we did wasn’t ideal. To win today though, is a fantastic feeling. “It means a lot to me to be a two-time winner of an iconic race like Paris-Nice, and this one feels even sweeter than the last one because it was so hard. They threw everything at us yesterday, and to win on the top of the Col d’Eze this year, like I did in 2013, is incredible.”
In the overall, Porte bested Kwiatkowski and Spilak by 0:30. Porte will race in the Giro d’Italia, while other competitors in Paris-Nice will race in the classics. How will they fare? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!