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Crashes cost Roglic as Schachmann retains Paris-Nice crown

Ireland’s Sam Bennett finishes second in points classification after his two stage wins.

Roglic: saw his lead evaporate with two crashes.
Roglic: saw his lead evaporate with two crashes.
Image: Daniel Cole

Updated 6.06pm

PRIMOZ ROGLIC’S PARIS-NICE challenge unravelled with two crashes on Sunday’s final stage as Germany’s Maximilian Schachmann clinched victory.

Defending champion Schachmann of Bora-Hansgrohe went into Sunday’s final stage in second place, but ended up retaining the Paris-Nice title as Roglic endured a turbulent day in the saddle.

“It’s not nice to win like that, I have mixed feelings,” Schachmann said.

“Suddenly I’m here with the yellow jersey, but I don’t know what to think. I don’t know if I can be happy.”

Magnus Cort won the stage itself but the headlines will be reserved for Roglic’s loss.

He went into the eighth and final day with a healthy 51-second lead after picking up three stage wins along the way.

He fell and was guided back to the peloton with a nasty graze visible on his left hip.

He then fell again at the bottom of a slope and struggled to get his chain back on before his teammates, exhausted from the previous slog to get him back to the pack, were unable to repeat the trick.

Roglic was soon distanced and isolated from his teammates, and eventually finished outside the top 10.

The defeat compounds Roglic’s agony, after he also missed out on the 2019 Giro d’Italia after enjoying a position of strength in the early stages.

Fellow Jumbo rider Steven Kruijswijk praised Roglic for not giving up.

“He fought until the end. If you see how he showed himself the past week, he was the strongest in the race, but anything can happen until the last day,” said Kruijswijk.

The Paris-Nice is often described as a mini-Tour de France as it tries to pack in all the difficulties of the Grand Tour.

Ireland’s Sam Bennett also laid down another marker for 2021 as he finished as runner-up behind Roglic in the points classification.

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Bennett added two bunch sprint triumphs here to the two he notched up at the UAE Tour, making him the man to beat on the flat this season.

© – AFP, 2021

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