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by AFP Newswire
March 15, 2020
La Colmiane, France (AFP) – Germany’s Maximilian Schachmann of the Bora-hansgrohe team won the Paris-Nice cycling race on Saturday holding on in a frantic climb to a summit finish where he fell to the ground exhausted.
“The last three kilometres were hell, but now I’m in heaven. This is the greatest victory of my life,” said Schachmann.
“This is just the beginning, my dream has always been to become a GC rider,” he said.
The race was one of the rare events to escape postponement until the final stage to south coast city Nice set for Sunday was trimmed from the itinerary over health fears.
Schachmann won the opening stage in a cross-wind on the plains outside Paris last Sunday, he tightened his grip in the time-trial on Wednesday before clinging on during a 16km climb and summit finish Saturday.
“This is just the beginning, my dream has always been to become a GC rider,” he said in reference to the elite group who contest overall victory in cyclin tours.
He won Paris-Nice 2020 by 18 seconds from Belgium’s Tiesj Benoot with Colombian rookie Sergio Higuita in third at 59sec.
Pre-race favourite Colombian climber Nairo Quintana fell on day one but took this seventh and final stage of the ‘Race to the Sun’ after a lightning attack earned him a solo win for his new team Arkea-Samsic.