Pogacar fends off Vingegaard for 'dream' triumph at Paris-Nice

By Sports Desk March 12, 2023

Tadej Pogacar achieved a "dream" victory in the Paris-Nice as the two-time Tour de France champion powered to a final-stage win on Sunday.

The 24-year-old Slovenian produced a thrilling solo surge on the 117.2-kilometre eighth stage, chiefly contested in the hills surrounding Nice.

His race-winning move came on the final climb, the Col d'Eze, as the UAE Team Emirates man left his rivals to scrap it out for second place before tearing away to the finish line on the Promenade des Anglais.

Pogacar took the stage by 33 seconds. Jonas Vingegaard (Team Jumbo-Visma) was second to cross the line on the sea front, with Pogacar taking the overall tour victory by 53 seconds from France's David Gaudu (Groupama–FDJ).

Vingegaard, the reigning Tour de France champion, picked up third place on this occasion in the general classification standings.

Pogacar won the one-day Clasica Jaen Paraiso Interior in Spain early last month, and then went on to dominate the five-day Vuelta a Andalucia.

The latest success is a further step towards the grand tours that await later in the year, with Pogacar electing to race at this event, on the roads where he does much of his training, rather than head to the Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy. That race, running concurrently, was won on Sunday by Primoz Roglic after Pogacar's victories there in 2021 and 2022.

"It was always my goal, my dream, to win Paris-Nice as well and now that I did it, it's incredible," Pogacar said on Eurosport.

"They say attack is the best defence and I really know these roads. A lot of training is done here, so I knew exactly how my legs were and on the final climb how much I could spend to come to the top and I calculated great."

Pogacar will turn his attention to next Saturday's Milan-San Remo one-day classic, satisfied to have got the better of a strong field.

"The competition here was really, really huge and to be alongside David Gaudu and Jonas Vingegaard on the podium is special because they are really top-class riders," Pogacar said. "If I don't win anything until the end of the season it's still not bad, so I can be more relaxed."

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