Primoz Roglic was the great favorite of this Paris-Nice, and the Slovenian from the Jumbo is fulfilling the predictions. In the Col de Turini he added his first victory of the year, and surely more will come, and he is more leader of the French round. That is to say, he is in an exact situation to that of a year ago in Paris-Nice.
In that edition, he also won the penultimate stage (like the one this Saturday) after beating Gino Mader in the final meters, and the next day, on the final day and with everything to his face, he lost the general classification of the race for a fall Now the script is the same, although it seems unlikely that the outcome of 2021 will be repeated, but it is cycling and anything can happen, as Primoz well knows over these past years (as in the 2020 Tour).
This Saturday was a demanding day, of a high level and hardness, with two ascents: the Cote de Coursegoules (2nd category) and the aforementioned finale at the Col de Turini, over 15 kilometers and with an average of over 7%. . It was a day for the GC favorites on this climb, and so they responded.
It was a beautiful battle between Roglic himself, Simon Yates, Daniel Felipe Martínez and Nairo Quintana. With the breakout neutralized, the riders were largely one at a time on the final ascent, trying to pace themselves to move forward.
Meanwhile, the rain of dropouts continued in a race that already has less than a hundred participants. Some numbers from other times.
In the final stretch of the climb, Daniel Felipe Martínez, who was such a good squire for Bernal in the last Giro and who in 2022 will have more responsibility, was the one who most agitated the small group of favorites. Simon Yates, with several very hard and long berths, did the same, but all with a common denominator: Roglic at his wheel.
The Slovenian held on with apparent calm, and already within the final kilometer he is practically unbeatable. Today it seems that he only has one rival, from his country and who is in the Tirreno-Adriatico, also at the head of said test: Tadej Pogacar.
This Sunday, the final day with start and finish in Nice on a hard day with five climbs, including the Col d’Eze, although far from a goal that will have a complicated descent before. It is deja vu for Roglic, who hopes that this time 2021 will not happen. They will not make it easy for him.