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 Slagter (GRS). While it will probably spur him into looking for revenge, it might also prove that the rainbow jersey holder is not yet at his very best this season. The terrain in any case is ideal for attacks and AG2R must not expect to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon on the roads of the French Riviera. With five climbs, culminating with Col d'Eze 15 kms from the finish line, their rivals will have plenty of opportunities to seize, the long descent towards Promenade des Anglais being the last if not the best!
Not a lazy Sunday afternoon...
Jersey wearers after the stage 8
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