Tadej Pogačar took the 2023 Paris Nice crown with a solo victory, riding away from his rivals to take a solo victory on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. It was the Slovenian’s 2nd stage win in a row and 3rd in the race. The stage win added more time gaps to what is normally quite a close final stage at Paris Nice. Pogačar finished 33 seconds ahead and so claimed victory in the GC by a commanding 53″ over David Gaudu and a confidence-inspiring 1’39” over last year’s Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard.
The early racing was to decide who would win the King of the Mountains jersey with Jonas Gregaard of Uno-X keen to score enough points early on to defend his jersey from Tadej Pogačar. Gregaard did his job well and by Nice was still 7 points ahead of the Slovenian. The intermediate sprint saw Groupama-FDJ try and set up David Gaudu but Tadej Pogačar was aware and took 4 bonus seconds and Gaudu only 2 in the end.
The Col d’Eze proved decisive as it usually does. UAE set a strong early pace that caught and passed the break. Simon Yates tried to attack over the top of them with Gaudu, Pogačar and Vingegaard on his wheel. Just a few hundred metres later, Pogačar attacked again and was able to go clear. His chasers tried to reel him in but to no avail and settled into attacking each other instead. By the summit, Pogačar was 45 seconds ahead of this mini group and only lost a dozen seconds from there to the finish line in Nice.
“It was always my goal and my dream to win Paris-Nice and now that I’ve done it it’s incredible. They say attack is the best defence. I really know these roads, I do a lot of training on them, I knew how my legs were and how much I could do on the final climb.
The level of competition was huge and to be alongside Gaudu and Vingegaard on the podium is really special because they’re great riders. If I don’t win anything else till the end of the season I can be relaxed because I’ve won here.”Tadej Pogačar
2023 Paris Nice Stage 8 result
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Main photo credit: Sprint Cycling Agency