On the final “tough” stage of Paris Nice last weekend we saw a new more ruthless Primoz Roglic snatch a first world tour win off Gino Mader in the final 50 metres of the stage.
Roglic had such a commanding lead in the general classification and was ahead of his rivals at the time.
In the old world of unwritten cycling rules, he would have got to Mader to maximise his time gains on those behind him but not taken the stage from the youngster. Even with a time bonus available.
But he did.
He flew past the Swiss who had been out in the days breakaway before celebrating as his crossed the line. Mader threw his hand to the sky with his final energies to say “why the hell did you do that?“.
In the post race interviews Roglic was clear that there would be “No gifts” anymore. No need to let others win here to get favours and broker deals later in the season. Lance Armstrong used the same phrase and now has as many wins in the Tour de France as me. And Roglic for that matter. That number being zero.
But less than 24 hours later in a final stage that was wild and uncontrolled Roglic was humbled. Really humbled.
He crashed twice and whilst the peloton respected the yellow jersey and the rule of not profiting from a crash for the race leader the first time. The gloves were off the second.
No gifts remember Primoz?
The teams with most to gain drilled it on the front and the erstwhile leader was distanced by minutes. Riding in alone and dropping from race leader to 15th overall on the last day.
Ironically his demise let Gino Mader (remember him?) into the top 10. You couldn’t make it up!
Max Schachmann was the beneficiary to win his second edition of the race. He has now won consecutive years but due to Covid related changes has never actually made it into the finish town of Nice!
The other main statistic being that Roglic has now lost the last 2 major stage races in France from a winning position on the last day.
When does this anomoly become a trend?
We saw him almost lose his maiden Vuelta win by getting caught out by crosswinds with Madrid on the horizon and of course he was totally outclassed by Tadej Pogacar on the final racing stage of the Tour de France in the autumn.
Drama and calamity seems to follow him and despite being totally dominant in this race, he didn’t win.
So if I were Primoz going forward I would be looking to build bridges with other riders rather than trying to be all dominant. You never know when you might need the rest of the peloton to help you out.
|1||SCHACHMANN Maximilian||BORA – hansgrohe||500||250||28:49:51|
|2||VLASOV Aleksandr||Astana – Premier Tech||400||190||0:19|
|3||IZAGIRRE Ion||Astana – Premier Tech||325||160||0:23|
|4||HAMILTON Lucas||Team BikeExchange||275||140||0:41|
|5||BENOOT Tiesj||Team DSM||225||120||0:42|
|6||MARTIN Guillaume||Cofidis, Solutions Crédits||175||110||1:14|
|7||HAIG Jack||Bahrain – Victorious||150||100||1:18|
|8||JORGENSON Matteo||Movistar Team||125||90||1:29|
|9||PARET-PEINTRE Aurélien||AG2R Citroën Team||100||80||1:31|
|10||MÄDER Gino||Bahrain – Victorious||85||70||1:32|
|11||VANHOUCKE Harm||Lotto Soudal||70||60||1:41|
|12||O’CONNOR Ben||AG2R Citroën Team||60||55||1:44|
|13||VAN BAARLE Dylan||INEOS Grenadiers||50||50||1:49|
|14||BARGUIL Warren||Team Arkéa Samsic||40||45||1:55|
|15||ROGLIČ Primož||Team Jumbo-Visma||35||40||2:16|