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Contador left with too much to do in the final stage

Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse D'Epargne) today won the the 2009 edition of Paris Nice three years after finishing the race as the best young rider. In fact he actually won it yesterday when he broke Alberto Contador to establish a near two minute advantage over his Spanish compatriot. Up until the last 20 kilometres of yesterday's stage it looked as if the race was Contdator's after his imperious display on the slopes of the  Montagne de Lure on stage 6.

Today as predicted Contador attacked on the first of the day's three category one climbs, the Col de la Porte and stayed out in front until the descent of the second the Col d'Eze where Antonio Colom (Katusha) and Franck Schleck (Saxo Bank) joined him. Colom went on to win the stage, but Sanchez did enough to keep his lead intact taking the overall by a minute from Schleck who swapped places with Sylvain Chavanel a further nine seconds back in third (Chavanel's chain broke on the final descent). Contador 15 seconds back on Chavanel and 1:24 down on Sanchez in fourth place.

Sylvain Chavanel won the green points jersey and Tony Martin of Team Columbia took the king of the mountains title. Kevin Seeldrayers of Quick Step won the white jersey for the best young rider, and if he emulates Sanchez – might be worth an early punt for the 2012 edition. Team Saxo Bank won the team competion.

Paris Nice Final Top 10

1. Luis-Leon Sanchez Caisse D’Epargne  30h 53' 51" 
2. Frank Schleck Team Saxo Bank  30h 54' 51" + 01' 00"
3. Sylvain Chavanel Quick Step  30h 55' 00" + 01' 09"
4. Alberto Contador Astana 30h 55' 15" + 01' 24"
5. Antonio Colom Team Katusha  30h 55' 38" + 01' 47"
6. Jens Voigt Team Saxo Bank  30h 55' 50" + 01' 59"
7. Kevin Seeldrayers Quick Step 30h 56' 20" + 02' 29"
8. Jonathan Hivert Skil - Shimano  30h 56' 48" + 02' 57"
9. Yury Trofimov BBOX Bouygues Telecom  30h 57' 28" + 03' 37"
10. Christophe Le Mevel Francaise des Jeux  30h 57' 51" + 04' 00"

Top 10 Paris Nice Stage 8 

1. Antonio Colom Team Katusha  2h 47' 49"
2. Alberto Contador Astana  2h 47' 49" + 00' 00"
3. Frank Schleck Team Saxo Bank  2h 47' 50" + 00' 01"
4. Jonathan Hivert Skil - Shimano  2h 48' 06" + 00' 17"
5. Christophe Moreau Agritubel  2h 48' 06" + 00' 17"
6. Sylvain Chavanel Quick Step  2h 48' 06" + 00' 17"
7. Juan Manuel Garate Rabobank  2h 48' 06" + 00' 17"
8. Christophe Le Mevel Francaise des Jeux  2h 48' 06" + 00' 17"
9. Jens Voigt Team Saxo Bank  2h 48' 06" + 00' 17"
10. Sandy Casar Francaise des Jeux  2h 48' 06" + 00' 17"

Check out Graham Watson's pictures of Stage 8 here

The story of Paris Nice 2009 (or simply click the Paris Nice 2009 tag at the bottom of this story)

Prologue report
Stage 2 report
Stage 3 report
Stage 4 report
Stage 5 report
Stage 6 report
Stage 7 report

 

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.