Tue, Mar 13, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Soler wins Paris-Nice with daring breakaway

AFP, NICE, France

From right, Spaniards Marc Soler of Movistar, Omar Fraile of Astana and David de La Cruz of Team Sky ride in a breakaway in the 110km eighth and final stage of the 76th Paris-Nice in and around Nice, France, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Young Spaniard Marc Soler on Sunday snatched victory at Paris-Nice from Briton Simon Yates with a daring breakaway on a soaked final stage.

Movistar’s Soler, 24, finished the stage around Nice in third place behind breakaway companions and compatriots David de la Cruz of Team Sky and Omar Fraile of Astana.

Soler’s name now features in the Paris-Nice records alongside Spanish greats such as Miguel Indurain and Alberto Contador.

“I’m proud to have my name in the records alongside some great names,” Soler said. “I’m not up to their level, I don’t yet have the results. I dream about the Tour de France, but I still have to learn.”

Mitchelton-Scott’s Yates came home sixth in a group 35 seconds behind Soler meaning the Spaniard snatched overall victory by just four seconds.

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 did not have the legs to contest the sprint finish, with De la Cruz overhauling Fraile at the death.

Fraile had launched a solo breakaway with 47km left of the mountainous 110km stage riden in driving rain.

Soler and De la Cruz took off after him and 5km later they linked up to form a three-man breakaway group with three of the six categorized climbs of the day still to come.

They increased their lead to 1 minute, 30 seconds at one stage.

Yates had few teammates left to help him and the disorganized peloton broke up under the pressure of attacks by Spanish brothers Ion and Gorka Izagirre of Bahrain-Merida, who had started the day in second and third at 11 seconds and 12 seconds behind Yates, but they crashed with just 5km remaining allowing Yates’ group to catch them.

Gorka Izagirre took bonus points in the first intermediate sprint of the day to jump above his brother and finish third overall, 14 seconds back.

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