Race report

Tiesj Benoot claims superb 2nd place on the day and secures GC spot on summit finish

Paris-Nice

The final day of racing at Paris-Nice saw the peloton take on the only summit finish of the event, with a 16 kilometre climb to La Colmiane to end the day. Once again it was another aggressive start to the stage with numerous attacks in the opening 20 kilometres. The team were prominent at the front, with Tiesj Benoot and Michael Matthews making it into a dangerous 17 man group.

The group was soon brought back though, and a new breakaway formed at the head of the race, with the six man move building up a lead of three minutes and ten seconds. Behind, the peloton kept them in check and slowly decreased the gap throughout the rest of the stage.

All seven of the guys in the team rode strongly as a unit to stay compact at the front of the peloton, protecting Benoot for the finale. As the race hit the bottom of the final climb De Gendt attacked his breakaway companions and went solo and the gap extended back out again as the peloton split to pieces behind. Benoot was joined by Søren Kragh Andersen in the very reduced bunch.

A fierce pace was set and Kragh Andersen had to let go of the wheel as the GC group thinned down even further. Quintana made his stage winning move at four kilometres to go and it became a cagey affair in the group behind with everyone marking each other closely.

Benoot made his move just outside the flamme rouge, putting in a stinging acceleration to break clear. Digging deep, he fought all the way to the line for a superb second place finish on the stage, a result which saw him secure second place overall and the green points jersey. Rounding off what has been a great week of racing for the team, Kragh Andersen managed to take tenth spot on GC too, with the team also victorious in the team classification.

After the stage Benoot expressed: “I went full gas with just over one kilometre to go but then I blew up a bit coming into the finale; I think second was my spot today. I’m really happy overall with the week that we had and the results we got as a team here.”

Team Sunweb coach Matt Winston added: “The guys did a really good job today, they all committed fully towards our goal of giving Tiesj the best chance of going for the stage and the GC. On the climb Tiesj did well and put in a strong attack in in the finale to take second on the day but unluckily it wasn’t enough for the GC title. Overall though, it has been a great week for us at Paris-Nice with the two stage wins, two guys inside the top 10 on GC, the points jersey and winning the team classification.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 QUINTANA Nairo Team Arkéa Samsic 4:27:01 60
2 BENOOT Tiesj Team Sunweb 0:46 25
3 PINOT Thibaut Groupama - FDJ 0:56 10
12 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team Sunweb 2:10 -
15 HAMILTON Chris Team Sunweb 3:54 -
26 BOL Cees Team Sunweb 7:50 -
33 ARNDT Nikias Team Sunweb 9:56 -
36 DENZ Nico Team Sunweb 13:07 -
54 MATTHEWS Michael Team Sunweb 19:08 -