Paris: Mr. Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates took the team to victory on the second summit arrival at Paris-Nice, giving them a two-win in a week.
The captain of UAE Team Emirates won stage 7 of the French race, covering 142,9 KM from Nice to the Col de la Couillole, after being forced to take a day off due to the strong wind, beating out Mr. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), who came in second at 2″, and Mr. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), who came in third at 6″.
The struggle amongst the race’s top favourites kicked off when the peloton closed the gap on the penultimate hill from the day’s largest escape group (18 riders). After -5.7 KM, Vingegaard attacked for the lead. Mr. Pogačar quickly responded, taking the lead for a few kilometres with a 7 advantage over Gaudu with Mr. Vingegaard in pursuit.
The three riders entered together in the last 500 metres after the two rivals caught up to the Slovenian rider and Gaudu attempted a few attacks. Mr. Vingegaard started the sprint, and Pogačar was successful in earning his seventh victory of the season (13 successes of the year for the Emirati team).
The Slovenian extended his GC lead over Gaudu and Vingegaard by 12″ and 58″ respectively. The leader of UAE Team Emirates also sports the white jersey for the “young riders” classification and the green jersey for the points classification.
Mr. Pogačar stated that, “Today was the first real hot day of the season and the pace was on since the start of the race. Ineos-Grenadiers forced the pace in the approach of the final climb, where we had a tough battle for the victory. Maybe I attacked too early, but I did not want to have too many riders in the front in the final: at the end, everything went as I hoped, so that’s perfect. Tomorrow we will face the most demanding stage of this Paris-Nice, but I am confident because the climbs will be more suitable for my characteristics and on roads I know well.”