LEVENS, France (Reuters) – Maximilian Schachmann retained his Paris-Nice title after overnight race leader Primoz Roglic suffered an ordeal in the final stage, a 92km ride from Le-plan-du-Var to Levens on Sunday.
Roglic, who had a 52-second lead going into the last stage, crashed twice before being forced to change bike and, without a team mate to pace him back into the bunch, he lost considerable ground to end up outside the final top 10.
The Slovenian’s woes brought back memories of last year’s Tour de France, when he cracked in the final time trial to end up second behind compatriot Tadej Pogacar.
“It was not the stage I was hoping for. I made mistakes today. The first crash dislocated my shoulder and after the second crash I was so far behind that I couldn’t come back,” said Roglic.
“It was a huge fight to the finish in which I gave everything. I am disappointed, but this is also part of our sport.”
Roglic won three stages in this year’s Paris-Nice but it did not matter in the end as German Schachmann of the Bora-Hansgrohe team finished on top, ahead of Russian Aleksandr Vlasov and Spain’s Ion Izaguirre, who both ride for Astana.
“I don’t know if I can be happy, or I’m also a bit… it’s not nice to win like that, it’s really difficult,” said Schachmann.
The final stage was won by Dane Magnus Cort Nielsen ahead of France’s Christophe Laporte at the end of a short sprint.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond and Pritha Sarkar)