An American in Paris-Nice

March 10 th 2024 - 15:13

Matteo Jorgenson bridged a gap of nearly two decades in Paris-Nice when he became the first American since 2006 to win the Race to the Sun on Sunday. It was almost a home win for the Californian, who lives in Nice and trains on the roads of the 109.3-km final stage. Gone on the five climbs of the day with Belgian champion Remco Evenepoel and stage 7 winner Aleksandr Vlasov, the Visma-Lease a Bike rider methodically dropped compatriot and childhood friend Brandon McNulty, the leader at the start, to clinch his greatest win to date. Evenepoel, who shook the race with several attempts, sealed a promising Paris-Nice with a prestigious stage win on the Promenade des Anglais.

Extended Highlights - Stage 8 - Paris-Nice 2024

Three escapees

The real start was given at 12:05 to 118 riders. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Elmar Reinders (Jayco AlUla) and Madis Mikhels (Intermarché-Wanty) did not start. At kilometre 4, Laurence Pithie (Groupama-FDJ), Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Dstny) and Johan Jacobs (Movistar) broke clear and the pack failed to react. They led the bunch by two minutes but Pithie was dropped in the ascent of Cote de Levens (Km 21). Campenaerts also dropped Jacobs and reached the top on his own.

Campenaerts on his own

At the back, Christian Scaroni (Astana) surged in the last kilometre of the ascent to take two points off KOM leader Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies) while stage 1 and 5 sinner Olav Kooij abandoned. In the descent, the Belgian was chased by Laurens de Plus (Ineos), Bruno Armirail (Decathlon-Ag2R), Samuele Battistella (Astana), Scaroni and Jacobs, while a second chasing group included Ion Izagirre (Cofidis), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain), Ewen Costiou (Arkea), Quentin Pacher (Groupama), Harrison Sweeny (EF-Easypost), William Barta and Ruben Guerreiro (Movistar). The two groups merged at Km 30. A further group, involving green jersey Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek), Gijs Leemreize (DSM), Jakob Fuglsand and Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech), was on their heels.

Buitrago out of the race

Scaroni added three points to his tally in Cote de Chateauneuf (Km 37). In the tricky descent, stage 4 winner Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain) and Kevin Geniets (Groupama) were forced out in a crash also involving Carlos Rodriguez and Egan Bernal (Ineos). With 65 km to go, the main contenders caught the group of chasers while Campenaerts went on with his solo ride. In the Cote de Berre les Alpes, the Belgian “rouleur” still retained a 30 seconds lead on the 23-man yellow jersey group, led by Mads Pedersen (Lidl Trek). Scaroni again took three points to come within two points of Mathieu Burgaudeau in the KOM classification.

Evenepoel attacks

Campenaerts was reined in into the 1st category Cote de Peille and Remco Evenepoel attacked twice from the bottom, trimming the leading group down to 11 riders: Evenepoel, Roglic, Vlasov, Grossschartner, McNulty, Jorgenson, Kelderman, Skjelmose, Harper, Plapp and Scaroni. Hampered by his crash, Egan Bernal was in a dropped group with Felix Gall (Decathlon-Ag2R), 40 seconds down. The Belgian champion’s third attack caused more damage as only Jorgenson managed to take his wheel, soon followed by Vlasov. But McNulty lost ground in the final kilometre of the ascent.  At the top of Cote de Peille, Vlasov was first ahead of Jorgenson and Evenepoel as the yellow and white jersey holder kept losing time. Scaroni managed to snatch two points to go level with Burgaudeau in the KOM standings.

Leading trio

Evenepoel, Jorgenson and Vlasov steadily increased their lead while McNulty could not find any support from the riders chasing with him – Skjelmose, Plapp and Scaroni. In the intermediate sprint of Col d’Eze, the American white jersey holder picked six seconds to strengthen his virtual leader’s jersey ahead of the Belgian champion. The leading trio were left to battle it out for the stage win, if not for the overall victory, which could not elude Jorgenson at this stage. The polka-dot jersey was still at stake and was promised to the rider coming first at the top of Cote des Quatre Chemins, the last in this Paris-Nice.  Evenepoel added the KOM leader’s jersey and the green jersey to his stage win and his well-deserved prize as the most aggressive rider in this final stage. He also finished second overall, 30 seconds behind Jorgenson, ahead of McNulty, third 1:47 adrift.

Follow us

Get exclusive information about the Paris-Nice