Race report

Søren Kragh Andersen 5th after all-out action on last stage of Paris Nice

Paris Nice

The final day of racing at Paris Nice saw the peloton faced with a short but very demanding 115 kilometre long stage starting and finishing in Nice; made even more difficult by the rain and wind. Heading out into the climbs in the surrounding hills, it was a fierce pace from the start, with almost all of the peloton trying to get up the road at one point.

Rotating through the attacks well Søren Kragh Andersen, Nico Denz, John Degenkolb and Andreas Leknessund were all present in small splits but each move came back. Ultimately, it became a race of attrition with riders and groups going out the back over the testing terrain and heading into the last 50 kilometres Kragh Andersen and Leknessund remained in the very reduced peloton of around 25 riders.

On the Côte de Peille the attacks started from the GC contenders. Leknessund fought hard to try and hold onto the wheel of the top five GC contenders but had to let go around four kilometres from the summit. Regrouping with Kragh Andersen and the rest of the chasers, the Team DSM duo worked well for the remainder of the stage, with Leknessund doing a lot of pacing work heading into the finale. Showing a good turn of speed, Kragh Andersen got up from the chasers to sprint to a fine fifth place – after what was a hard day in the saddle. Leknessund also moved up on GC to end the race in a solid 11th overall.

Speaking after the stage Kragh Andersen said: “Today was a hard stage but we’re very happy to have made it into in the second group in the end, with Andreas and I there. Andreas did a super good job pulling the group into the final and I did the best sprint I could for fifth. With Andreas also finishing 11th on GC, I think we ended the race in a really good way.”

Team DSM coach Phil West added: “It was a tough day out, and the rain which which had been promised finally arrived on what was arguably the hardest parcours of the week. It was a pretty full on race. Our goal was to go for the stage but we had to take it step by step due to the nature of the race. We positioned Søren and Andreas for the first climbs but it became a war of attrition; fighting over the climbs and on the descents each time. When the final split happened Andreas almost made it in there, but he just couldn’t quite follow at that moment. We still continued the fight though and it was some brilliant teamwork from Søren and Andreas to bring back the chase group ahead of them and set up the sprint. It was a nice way to end the week with a good stage result and Andreas moving up on GC too.” 

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 YATES Simon Team BikeExchange - Jayco 2:52:59 60
2 VAN AERT Wout Jumbo-Visma 0:09 25
3 ROGLIČ Primož Jumbo-Visma ,, 10
5 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team DSM 1:44 -
15 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM 1:47 -
54 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM 17:43 -
55 DENZ Nico Team DSM ,, -