Richie Porte raced to stage victory atop Col d’Eze and his second overall win on the final day of Paris-Nice. Michal Kwiatkowski hung onto second place overall with Simon Spilak completing the podium.
Rider of the race
There were some admirable performances this week but there can only be one victor, overall winner Richie Porte. The 30-year-old Australian time trial champion made his strengths count. He rode intelligently to take Thursday’s queen stage ahead of teammate Geraint Thomas, with the duo using a one-two attack to claw back time on the other leading contenders. On Saturday’s cold, wet and wind-swept stage, despite hitting the deck on a descent, Porte used his knowledge of the local terrain to marshall his efforts and finish within touching distance of race leader Tony Gallopin.
Porte consolidated those marginal gains on today’s final stage. He served up a masterclass in the discipline as he time-trialled confidently and smoothly up Col d’Eze to win his second Paris-Nice in three years and his first stage race of the 2015 season. He was over a minute slower, thanks to climatic conditions, than his 2013 time, when he’d put two minutes into Gallopin. He only needed 36 seconds today. Post-race, Porte admitted:
It means a lot to me to be a two-time winner of an iconic race like Paris-Nice, and this one feels even sweeter than the last one because it was so hard. They [Etixx-Quick Step] threw everything at us yesterday, and to win on the top of the Col d’Eze this year, like I did in 2013, is incredible.
Four things we liked
1. The stage-winners. We liked that each stage, apart from the two won by the overall victor, had a different winner. At this stage in the season, riders are at different stages in terms of preparation depending on their season’s objectives. It’s great to see a such a broad mix of winners.
The race in numbers
18 – The number of years since a Frenchman last won the overall (Laurent Jalabert, 1997).
24 – The winner of the Col d’Eze stage has won the overall on 24 out of the 31 occasions it has been used.
2 – Porte won the closing individual time trial up Col d’Eze for the second time in succession (2013, 2015).
1. Richie Porte (Sky) 29:10:41
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick Step) +0:30
3. Simon Spilak (Katusha) same time
4. Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) s/t
5. Geraint Thomas (Sky) +0:41
6. Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) +1:03
7. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) +1:05
8. Rafael Valls (Lampre-Merida) +1:24
9. Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) +1:38
10. Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) +2:18
Link: Official race website
Header image: Sky