Paris-Nice Finale: Vichot Sprints to Podium, Betancur Holds Fast

Eric Feferberg, AFP/Getty

FDJ's Arthur Vichot capped off a productive day with a stage victory in Nice that propelled him all the way onto the final podium of Paris-Nice, while Carlos Betancur of AG2R sealed his overall win, avoiding a last-minute crash that dropped his closest competitor, World Champion Rui Costa of Lampre.

Vichot, donning the French Champion's tricouleur, pipped JJ Rojas of Movistar in the final sprint, giving him a net of five seconds ahead of the Spaniard on the day, closing the four-second gap he had carried into action. With Zdenek Stybar (OPQS) getting dropped on the Col d'Eze, the sprint was in essence a battle for the third podium step, a dramatic finish to a very tight week of racing. The sprint came at a cost to Costa, who went down along the barriers when Tony Gallopin veered sideways and took out a parcel of riders, but Costa was given the same finishing time as Betancur (two seconds behind the sprinters), sealing his second place overall.

479091889_medium

Betancur rode another nervy race, and can thank his excellent team support for the biggest win of his career to date. Holding a mere 14 seconds over his closest competitor, and under a minute to several more, Betancur remained calmly in the main field all day, relying on his team (and Movistar too) to control things. Astana's Vincenzo Nibali made a dangerous move in the final hour, but lacked the fitness to finish it off, and eventually was dropped. Simon Spilak of Katusha presented the only major threat to Betancur on the Col d'Eze, the iconic final climb of the race, but never gained more than 18 seconds (half of his 39" gap), and was reeled in once the descent flattened out in Nice.

Stage results:

  1. Arthur Vichot (FDJ)
  2. Jose Joaquin Rojas (MOV)
  3. Cyril Gauthier (EUC)
  4. Damiano Caruso (CAN)
  5. Wilco Kelderman (BEL)

Final GC

  1. Carlos Betancur (ALM)
  2. Rui Costa (LAM) @14"
  3. Arthur Vichot (FDJ) @20"
  4. Jose Joaquin Rojas (MOV), @21"
  5. Zdenek Stybar (OPQ) @25" Jakob Fuglsang, AST, at 0.29
479090859_medium
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Podium Cafe

You must be a member of Podium Cafe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Podium Cafe. You should read them.

Join Podium Cafe

You must be a member of Podium Cafe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Podium Cafe. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.