Quintana wins final stage as Max Schachmann takes Paris-Nice overall victory
Paris-Nice’s Queen Stage was also the race’s grand finale, with the cancellation of Sunday’s racing meaning that it was all going to come down to the 166.5km of stage 7
Those kilometres were going to be the hardest the riders would face, with four climbs, all of which were first or second category, and the last of these being the first category summit finish on La Colmiane – 16.3km long at 6.3%. Knowing it would all come down to the result on the finish line, the break today included riders who could threaten Maximilian Schachmann’s position in the GC.
Riding hard on the front, Michael Schwarzmann protected the GC leader over the day’s first three climbs, and with 20km to go, the gap had come down from almost three minutes to a minute and a half, the whole BORA-hansgrohe team pulling together to keep the pace high and reduce the advantage. The peloton had shed riders on the climbs, but Felix Großschartner and Austrian National Champion, Patrick Konrad, were riding in support of the yellow jersey in a select group.
At the foot of the final climb, the reduction in the gap between the break and the peloton meant Maximilian was keeping hold of the GC lead, with the break’s advantage coming down as the stage moved into its final 5km it was just a matter of keeping calm and staying in contention.
Nairo Quintana took the final stage with a blistering attack with 3.6km to go for which a select group of his rivals had no response. Arkea-Samsic’s Colombian leader soloed across the line for his third stage win of the season after taking overall wins previously at Tour de la Provence and Tour des Alpes.
A late attack for the overall win came to nothing, and as Maximilian crossed the line in sixth on the stage, the German National Champion knew that he’d won the biggest race of his career. Holding the overall lead the entire race after his win on stage 1, Maximilian could finally claim the 2020 Paris-Nice yellow jersey as his own – the second UCI WorldTour stage race win in BORA-hansgrohe’s history.
From the Finish Line, Max Schachmann said "It's such a great feeling to win Paris-Nice but this was a very, very hard day. Felix Großschartner, Patrick Konrad and Michael Schwarzmann did a brilliant job today, they controlled the race by themselves. The finale was really hard for me, especially the last 3km were, honestly, very painful, like going through hell. But right now, I'm in heaven and every small pain in my legs is worth it. This is the fourth year of my professional career and this victory is certainly my biggest success so far and one of the most important steps. It feels so great because my whole life people were doubting I could be a GC rider and it was always my dream. Here I am now, having won one of the most prestigious one-week stage races."
VIDEO: 2020 Paris-Nice Stage 7 Highlights
2020 Paris-Nice Stage 7 Top 10
1 Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic 4:27:01
2 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb 0:00:46
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:56
4 Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
6 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:58
7 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 0:01:19
8 Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling 0:01:22
9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale 0:01:32
10 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
2020 Paris-Nice Final GC
1 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 27:14:23
2 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb 0:00:18
3 Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling 0:00:59
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:16
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:24
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:01:30
7 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:02:03
8 Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling 0:02:16
9 Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:39
10 Soren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 0:04:36