Sunday March 16th, 2014

Stage 8Nice / Nice

Start 13h35 GMT 2+

Key moments

Stage summary16.03.2014 in 17:32Betancur conquers Paris-Nice for Colombia

Carlos Betancur (ALM) became the first Colombian to win Paris-Nice after the final stage around Nice won by French champion Arthur Vichot on Sunday.

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interview16.03.2014 in 17:56Carlos Betancur: "A great honour"

"It's a great honour to win such a great race and to show that Colombian cycling is back. I was very proud with my 5th place in the Giro d'Italia but this is greater. It's more important to win such a great race ahead of so many great riders. It also shows  what a strong team AG2R is. Last year I started my season in the Tour of Catalunya. This time I started earlier and it's really a morale booster before the classics. The rest of my program of the season will climax with the Tour de...

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interview16.03.2014 in 17:42Arthur Vichot: "Great to win the queen stage"

"It's the first time I win with the tricolore jersey on. It was the queen stage of Paris-Nice, it's just great. The profile of this Paris-Nice favoring riders of my calibre made me the team leader for once. To finish on the podium after such a great stage it's just great. Now I'm going to concentrate on the classics and as early as next weekend on Milan-San Remo even though the course has changed and suits the sprinters better. I've not turned into a stage race specialist. Other stages races...

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Sporting stakes15.03.2014 in 18:11Not a lazy Sunday afternoon...

Six years ago, AG2R came within three seconds of winning Paris-Nice with Ronaldo Nicentini and the French team now dream of making it at last with Carlos Betancur in the winding 128-kms last stage around Nice. His 14 seconds lead over world champion Rui Costa (LAM) looks solid enough on paper for the Colombian to deliver and hand his country its first ever victory in the Race to the Sun. The Portuguese was twice beaten on the line in the last two days, by Betancur and by Dutchman Tom-Jelte...

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16:49Top five placings

Top five final overall standings:

1. Carlos Betancur (ALM)

2. Rui Costa (LAM) 14 seconds behind

3. Arthur Vichot (FDJ) 20 seconds

4. Jose Joaquin Rojas (MOV) 21 seconds

5. Zdenek Stybar (OPQ) 25 seconds

16:46Top 5 placings

Top five palcings in the 128-kms 8th and final stage of Paris-Nice.

1. Arthur Vichot (Fance, FDJ)

2.Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spain, MOV)

3. Cyril Gauthier (France, EUC)

4. Damiano Caruso (Italy, CAN)

5. Wilco Kelderman (NEtherlands, BEL)

16:43Rui Costa crashed

World champion Rui Costa (LAM) was involved in a crash 200 metres from the finish line and is lying on the tarmac.

16:43Vichot wins stage 8

Arthur Vichot (FDJ) won the 8th and final stage of Paris-Nice.

16:41Under the red flame...

... and Simon Spilak (KAT) and Frank Schleck (TFR) still lead the yellow jersey group by three seconds.

16:402 kms to go...

... and Simon Spilak (KAT) and Frank Schleck (TFR) lead the yellow jersey group by seven seconds. 

16:393 kms to go...

... and the gap is now down to 11 seconds between Simon Spilak (KAT), Frank Schleck (TFR) and the yellow jersey group.

16:385 kms to go...

... and Frank Schleck and Simon Spilak maintain a 16 seconds lead over the chasing bunch, led by AG2R and Movistar riders.

16:36Spilak the threat

Simon Spilak (KAT) is a serious threat as he lies 39 seconds behind Carlos Betancur overall.

16:35Gap up to 20 seconds

8 kms to go and Spilak and Frank Schleck lead the bunch by 20 seconds.

16:31Result of the second sprint

Km 114.5 - Eze

1. Simon Spilak (KAT) Three points, three seconds

2. Frank Schleck (TFR) 2 pts 2 secs

3. Arhtur Vichot (FDJ) 1 sec, 1 pt

16:30Schleck and Spiak in the lead

Frank Schleck (TFR) and Simon Spilak (KAT) are now in the lead, with a ten seconds lead over the yellow jersey group.

16:29Results on Col d'Eze

Km 113 - Col d'Eze (1st cat)

1.  Frank Schleck (TFR) 10 points

2.  Eduardo Sepulveda (BSE) 8 points

3.  Rui Costa (LAM)  6 points

4.  Stephan Denifl (IAM) 4 points

5.   Wilco Calderman (BEL) 3 points

6.  Jakob Fuglsang (LAM) 2 points

7.  Arthur Vichot (FDJ) 1 point

16:26Stybar dropped

Zdenek Stybar (OPQ), third overall, has been slightly dropped by the peloton as Rui Costa (LAM) raised the tempo in front of the pack, Carlos Betancur in his wheel. 

16:23Lopez in the lead

David Lopez Garcia (SKY) attacked with 16 kms to go as Vincenzo Nibali (AST) has been dropped from the bunch.

16:21Bennett on the move

New Zealand's George Bennett (CAN) attacked on the climb.

16:20AG2R in control

Mikael Cherel (ALM) is now taking the reins of the peloton, perfectly controlling the race for yellow jersey holder Carlos Betancur.

16:18Trofimov reined in

Km 109 - Yury Trofimov (KAT) has been caught by the peloton at the foot of Col d'Eze.

16:1620 kms to go....

... and Yury Trofimov (KAT) retains a 12 seconds lead over the peloton.

16:08Movistar lead the chase

Movistar are sharing turns with AG2R to lead the peloton chase behind Trofimov.

16:0630 kms to go...

... and Trofimov is alone in the lead with a 45 seconds  lead as Cousin and Mate are brought back by the peloton. 

16:03Situation of the race

Km 95 - Yuri Trofimov (KAT) leads Jerome Cousin (EUC) and Luis Mate (COF) by 20 seconds and the eloton by 42 seconds.

15:59Trofimov in the lead

Yuri Trofimov (AST) is alone in the lead, six seconds ahead of his two breakaway companions, Jerome Cousin (EUC) and Luis MAte (COF).

15:57Three in the lead

Km 89 - Three men broke clear in the descent of Cote de Peille: Jerome Cousin (EUC), Yuri Trofimov (KAT) and  Luis Mate (COF). They lead the peloton by 22 seconds.

15:55Results on Cote de Peile

Km 87 - Cote de Peille (1st cat)

1. Francesco Gavazzi (AST)  10 points

2. Vincenzo Nibali(AST)  8 points

3. Simon Spilak (KAT) 6 points

4. Wilco Kelderman (BEL) 4 points

5. Jerome Coppel (COF) 3 points

6.  Matthew Busche (TFR)2 points

7. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC)1 point

15:52Bunch regroups in descent

The Nibali group was reined in in the descent. The peloton is packed again.

15:51Nine in the lead

One kilometre from the top of Cote de Peille, nine men are in the lead: Jerome Coppel (COF), Matthew Busche (TFR), Jerome Cousin (EUC), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Vincenzo Nibali (AST), Simon Spilak (KAT), Franceco Gavazzi (AST), Wilco Kalderman (BEL) and Xabier Zandio (SKY).

15:48AG2R struggle

AG2R lead the peloton but struggle to quash the skirmishes coming from everywhere.

15:47Spilak goes too

Simon Spilak (KAT) attacked in turn behind Nibali with Wilco Kalderman (BEL).

15:45Nibali attacks

Vincenzo Nibali (AST) and his team-mate Lieuwe Westra surged from the main pack to chase behind what is left of the breakaway group.

15:42Four in the lead

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Jerome Cousin (EUC) and Xabier Zandio (SKY) joined Coppel and Busche in the lead. Five men in the lead.

15:40Coppel and Busche in the lead

Jerome Coppel (COF) and Matthew Busche (TFR) are now in the lead after the front group dissolved.

15:38Several dropped in the climb

Several riders have been dropped by the main pack on Cote de Peille, among them green jersey holder John Degenkolb (GIA) and polka-dot jersey holder Pim Ligthart (LTB).

15:37Average speed 41.55 kph

The average speed in the second hour of the stage was 41.6 kph for an overall speed of 41.55 kph.

15:35Astana take over from Movistar

Astana are now leading the peloton, who tackle Cote de Peille (km 87, 1st category).

15:3250 kms tp go...

... and Movistar riders have seized the reins of the peoton, some 1:35 behind the 16 escapees.

15:29Hofland back in the bunch

Stage 2 winner Moreno Hofland (BEL) has been caught by the peloton (Km 74).

15:24Results in Cote de Calaison

Km 70 - Cote de Calaison (2nd cat)

1. Jerome Pineau (IAM) 7 points

2.  Matthew Busche(TFR)  5 points

3.  Jerome Cousin (EUC) 3 points

4.  Francesco Gavazzi (AST) 2 points

5.  Xabier Zandio (SKY) 1 point

Peloton 1:50 behind

15:20Gap now 1:50

Km 68 - The gap between the 16 escapees and the peloton is now 1:50.

15:18Two Belkin riders out

Jetse Bol and Maarten Wynants also called it quits.

15:16Sebastien Chavanel quits

Sebastian Chavanel (FDJ) joins the long list of riders to give up today.

15:1116 riders in the lead

Sixteen riders are in the lead now after the group reformed while stage 2 winner Moreno Hofland (BEL) was dropped.

15:08Four in the lead

Km 67 - Zandio (SKY), Pineau (IAM), Keukeleire (OGE) and Favilli (LAM) broke clear in the descent and lead their 15 former companions by eight seconds. The peloton is one minute behind. 

15:03Voeckler abandons

Thomas Voeckler (EUC) and Adiren Petit (COF) call it quits too.

15:02Results on Cote de Chateauneuf

Km 55.5 - Cote de Chateauneuf (2nd cat)

1. Danilo Hondo (TFR) 7 points

2. Jerome Coppel (COF) 5 points

3. Fabio Favilli (LAM)  3 points

4. Marco Marcato (CAN) 2 points

5. Michel Koch (CAN) 1 point

The peloton 40 seconds behind

14:5717 in the lead

km 55 - Jerome Pineau has been reined in. Seventeen riders are now in the lead again.

14:54Engoulvent out

Jimmy Engoulvent (EUC) is the latest rider to give up.

14:53Pineau attacks

Km 53 - Jerome Pineau (IAM) broke clear of his 16 breakaway companions. The Frenchman leads them by 10 seconds and the peloton by 55 seconds. 

14:47More withdrawals

Three more riders have just called it quits. Tyler Farrar and Fabian Wegmann (both GRS) and Taylor Phinney (BMC).

14:38Tinkoff Saxo lead the chase

Three Tinkoff-Saxo riders have been leading the chase for a few kilometres.

14:37Kroon leaves Paris-Nice too

Karsten Kroon (TCS) also bids farewell to the Race to the Sun.

14:36Average speed 41.5 kph

The average speed in the first hour of the stage was 41.5 kph.

14:34Gap back at one minute

Km 40 - The 17 lead the main bunch by one minute.

14:32Two Giant Shimano riders out

Koen De Kort and Albert Timmer (GIA) both called it quits.

14:27Romain Bardet: "Motivated to work for Carlos"

Interviewed at the start by, Romain Bardet (ALM) said how much he was motivated by the defense of team-mate carlos Betancur's yellow jersey:  "We'll wait for tonight to draw conclusions. For now, we have a big stage ahead of us, with a great goal. With my problems in the beginning of the week, it was a little hard mentally, but now I'm motivated to work for Carlos. It brings lots of emotions and it's important for us to work together on a regular basis."

14:25Result on Cote de Duranus

Km 33.5 - Cote de Duranus (2nd cat)

1. Francesco Gavazzi (AST) 7 points

2.  Xavier Zandio (SKY) 5 points

3.  Marco Marcato (CAN) 3 points

4. Jerome Pineau (IAM) 2 points

5. Anthony Delaplace (BSE) 1 point

The peloton 50 seconds behind.

14:23Boonen and Steegmans out

Tom Boonen and Gert Steegmans (both OPQ) abandoned.

14:13The 17 leaders

The 17 leaders are Zandio (SKY), Von Hoff (GRS), Van Avermaet (BMC), Pineau (IAM), Keukeleire (OGE), Favilli (LAM), Gavazzi (AST), Hofland (BEL), Busche and Hondo (TFR), Cousin (EUC), Ervitti (MOV), Kristoff (KAT), Coppel (COF), Koch and Marcato (CAN) and Delaplace (BSE). They lead the peloton by one minute at kilometre 28.

14:0617 riders move

Km 24 - 17 riders split with the peloton.

14:04Result of the first intermediate sprint

Km 19 - Plan du Var

1. John Degenkolb (GIA) 3 points, 3 seconds

2.  Tom Boonen (OPQ) 2 points, 2 seconds

3.  Zdenek Stybar (OPQ) 1 point, 1 second 

13:56Thomas: "All is OK"

Forced out of the race after crashing in yesterday's finale, Geraint Thomas (SKY) gave reassuring news on his Twitter account and made it clear that he had not lost his sense of humor or his love for rugby. "All is ok thanks guys. Just gutted, good all race then boom... Nothing," he wrote last night.
And this morning: "Sound like a broken record, but thanks for all  your support, means a lot! Sad not to start today, but plenty more to race for ‪#restisbest‬."
"On the plus...

13:55Sabatini abandons

Fabio Sabatini (CAN) abandoned.

13:54Packed bunch

Km 12 - The bunch is packed and led by Giant Shimano riders, working for green jersey holder John Degenkolb ahead of the intermediate sprint in Plan du Var (km 19).

13:47Bryan Coquard: "I'm better and better on climbs"

Interviewed by at the start, Bryan Coquard looked back on his Paris-Nice so far: "Overall I'm satisfied. I came to win a stage and it wasn't so far the day I finished 4th in Rive-de-Gier. I realize that the level is high but still I'm here. I do better and better on the climbs. It's a proof that I improved. I couldn't have done that last year. The positive side is that we managed to keep a good place for Cyril Gautier by controlling the race well, especially yesterday in...

13:38Five non starters

Five starters did not start: Geraint Thomas (SKY), Edvald Boasson-Hagen (SKY), Stephen Cummings (BMC), Michael Matthews (OGE), Julien Simon (COF).

13:36Start was given

The start was given at 13:35 to 151 riders.

13:33Arthur Vichot: "Room for honour placings"

Interviewed before the start of stage 8, Arthur Vichot told about his ambitions on the last day. "In my opinion, AG2R are strong enough to control the race and the battle will be more for honour placings than for victory. Personally, I'll just try to be in contention for the final sprint within the small group which will probably emerge in Col d'Eze. I feel good as a leader. I performed well in the end of the season World Tour races last season and I wanted to continue in the...

13:30In the press today

Local paper Nice-Matin interviewed the Feillu brothers, Romain and Brice, who reveal they had not been together on a World Tour race since 2010, already on Paris-Nice. Romain and Brice add that they're hoping to reach their peak for the Tour: "Our peak is scheduled for the sunny days, two months from now."

L'Equipe tells how Tom-Jelte Slagter is nicknamed "the Butcher", which is the meaning of his name in Dutch. The French sports daily also noted that Rui Costa's second place in...

13:22Jersey holders

Carlos Betancur (ALM) strengthened his overall lead in stage 7, but not on the same rider since Geraint Thomas was unfortunately forced out of the race with a broken collarbone after crashing in the finale to Biot. The Colombian now leads world champion Rui Costa (LAM) by 14 seconds while Czech Zdenek Stybar (OPQ) is third, 26 seconds adrift. While the AG2R leader is in a position of strength, he is far from 100 percent safe in a short but restless stage around Nice.
Betancur is also in...

13:15Climbs of the day

Km 33.5 - Cote de Duranus (2nd cat)

Km 55.5 - Cote de Chateauneuf (2nd cat)

Km 70 - Cote de Calaison (2nd cat)

Km 87 - Cote de Peille (1st cat)

Km 113 - Col d'Eze (1st cat)

13:14Sprints of the day

Km 19 - Plan du Var
Km 114.5 - Eze

13:13Welcome on the final stage

Welcome on the 128-km 8th and final stage of Paris-Nice on Sunday. Stay tune to


Jersey wearers after the stage 8

Classifications after the stage 8


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