Paris - Nice: Sanchez took final stage - Rebellin overall winner

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16.03.2008/Davide Rebellin at last won Paris-Nice, a race which seemed to elude him in recent years, since he had to be content with podium places in 2003, 2004 and 2007. But it was a close call for the experienced Italian, who only beat compatriot Rinaldo Nocentini by three seconds, the slimmest gap ever in the history of the Race to the Sun. Rebellin, who had lost the race on the last day in 2007, perfectly controlled the 115-kms final stage, won on the Promenade des Anglais by Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez, already winner of a stage on la Croisette in Cannes last year. France’s Clement Lhotellerie, the revelation of this Paris-Nice, spent most of this final stage overlooking Nice in the front and earned a fine reward for his endless efforts – the best climber’s polka-dot jersey.

Luis Leon Sanchez took the final stage (© ASO)

The start was given at 13:54 to 122 riders. As David Moncoutie (Cofidis) and Gert Steegmans (Quickstep) winner of stage 1 and 2, quickly abandoned, a group of 35 riders attacked and held a maximum lead of 1:30. Its composition was as follows : Charteau, Losada Agualcil (Caisse d’Epargne) Lorenzetto (Lampre), Albasini, Corioni, Santaromita (Liquigas) Van den Broeck (Silence Lotto), Julich, Kolobnev, Kroon, Sorensen and Voigt (CSC), Pauriol (C.A.) Gilbert, Jegou (FDJ), Benitez, Cobo Acebo, Passeron (Saunier Duval), Pineau (Bouygues Telecom), Possoni (High Road), Huguet (Cofidis), De Maar, Flecha (Rabobank), Arrieta, Dupont (AG2R) Cretskens, Tosatto (Quick Step) Lequatre (Agritubel), Grabsch, Schroeder (Milram), Euser, Lowe, Pate, Peterson (Slipstream) Goesinnen, Hupond (Skil-Shimano).

On the Col de la Porte (1st cat, km 51), the group quickly dissolved in several little bunches. Remi Pauriol and Morris Possoni broke off and were joined by Jose Benitez near the top. King of the mountains Clement Lhotellerie attacked out of the bunch and chased behind the leaders, followed by Igor Anton (Euskaltel) and Damiano Cunego (Lampre). After 57 kilometres, on the descent, second-placed Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R) crashed with former race leader Robert Gesink (Rabobank). Overall leader Davide Rebellin (Geroslteiner) ordered the peloton to wait for them.

On the last part of the descent (km 69), another group of 15 riders took the reins. It featured Pauriol, Possoni, Benitez, Lhotellerie, Damiano Cunego (Lampre), Albasini, Julich, Anton, Pineau, Dupont, Tosatto, Lowe, Losada Alguacil, Santaromita and Van den Broeck. At the bottom of the climb to La Turbie, Lhotellerie attacked twice (km 79) and moved away on his own. Cunego was the only one to try and react and took with him ten of his former companions, Albasini, Santaromita and Vandenbroeck losing contact. At the top (km 88), Lhotellerie’s lead was 35 seconds, with the peloton1:35 behind. Lhotellerie’s show continued on the Col d’Eze (km 97.5), which he reached in the lead, followed by Jose Benitez, who joined forces with him in the descent.

On the way down to Nice, Benitez and Lhotellerie tried hard but were caught with 8 kms to go by a group led by Cunego and Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d’Epargne), who had made it back on the chase in the descent. The race regrouped in the streets of Nice as the peloton rode at full speed under the impulsion of Rebellin’s team-mates. Sanchez continued his effort and surged again with three kilometres left to finish on his own and narrowly resist the return of Belgium’s Maxime Monfort (Cofids) and Spain’s Carlos Barredo (Quick Step). Davide Rebellin finished in the same time as second-placed Rinaldo Nocentini and retained his three-seconds lead to win Paris-Nice with the slimmest margin in the race history.

Overall winner Davide Rebellin said: “"I’m very happy because for many years I had to be content with second or third places and I never won. It was a hard race today and I must thank my team-mates. There were a lot of attacks today but we managed to control Nocentini well. In the end, the stage result had no longer any importance. Witht he Tour du Haut Var and Paris-Nice, I’ve already won two beautiful races this season and I now hope to grab a nice classic like the ones I’ve won in the past."

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Picture gallery: Paris - Nice , Stage 7, March 16, 2008

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Special Coverage Paris - Nice 2008

Results Paris - Nice 2008
Stage 7
1 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                2.51.12 (40.3 km/h)
2 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis                                  
3 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step                               
4 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Agritubel                          0.05
5 Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Quick Step                            
6 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step                               
7 Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre                                     
8 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Crédit Agricole                     
9 Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram                                
10 José Alberto Benítez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott               
11 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                         
12 Xavier Florencio (Spa) Bouygues Telecom                      
13 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto                              
14 Aurélien Passeron (Fra) Saunier Duval-Scott                  
15 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Crédit Agricole                         
16 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                           
17 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Silence-Lotto                        
18 Juan Manuel Gárate (Spa) Quick Step                          
19 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Crédit Agricole                        
20 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole                           
21 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                        
22 Alberto Losada (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                        
23 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC                                  
24 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Gerolsteiner                              
25 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux                         
26 Gorka Verdugo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                        
27 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale                     
28 Trent Lowe (Aus) Slipstream Chipotle - H30                   
29 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank                                 
30 David Arroyo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                          
31 Igor Antón (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                           
32 Clément Lhôtellerie (Fra) Skil-Shimano                       
33 Bernhard Kohl (Aut) Gerolsteiner                             
34 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis                               
35 Hubert Dupont (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                         
36 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre                               0.12
37 Kjell Carlström (Fin) Liquigas                            0.35
38 Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Team CSC                       0.36
39 Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30                   
40 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                   0.05
41 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis                            3.29
42 Bingen Fernández (Spa) Cofidis                               
43 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis                                  
44 Yann Huguet (Fra) Cofidis                                    
45 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                      
46 Morris Possoni (Ita) High Road                               
47 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team CSC                             
48 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux                    
49 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC                                 
50 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence-Lotto                            
51 Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas                           5.05
52 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre                                
53 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC                                    
54 Ivan Santaromita (Swi) Liquigas                              
55 José Luis Arrieta (Spa) Ag2r-La Mondiale                     
56 Anthony Charteau (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                   9.14
57 David López García (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                    
58 Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel) Silence-Lotto                    
59 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole                           
60 Claudio Corioni (Ita) Liquigas                               
61 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Quick Step                      15.08
62 Josep Jufré (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                        
63 Ralf Grabsch (Ger) Team Milram                               
64 Björn Schröder (Ger) Team Milram                             
65 Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil-Shimano                          
66 Aitor Hernández (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                      
67 Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                    
68 Thierry Huppond (Fra) Skil-Shimano                           
69 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Rabobank                               
70 Marc De Maar (Ned) Rabobank                                  
71 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Slipstream Chipotle - H30           
72 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30        
73 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre                                 
74 Yoann Le Boulanger (Fra) Française des Jeux                  
75 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner                         
76 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française des Jeux                   
77 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Crédit Agricole                    
78 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel                            
79 Christophe Edaleine (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                   
80 Cyril Dessel (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                          
81 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank                               
82 Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Agritubel                             
83 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Agritubel                              
84 Lucas Euser (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30                  
85 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                        
86 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram                          20.05
DNF Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quick Step                             
DNF Sylvain Calzati (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                      
DNF Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank                          
DNF Michiel Elijzen (Ned) Rabobank                              
DNF David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis                               
DNF Marcel Sieberg (Ger) High Road                              
DNF Vicente Reynes (Spa) High Road                              
DNF Craig Lewis (USA) High Road                                 
DNF Servais Knaven (Ned) High Road                              
DNF Andreas Klier (Ger) High Road                               
DNF André Greipel (Ger) High Road                               
DNF Bernhard Eisel (Aut) High Road                              
DNF Johann Tschopp (Swi) Bouygues Telecom                       
DNF Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                      
DNF Anthony Geslin (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                       
DNF Juan José Cobo (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                    
DNF Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Française des Jeux                    
DNF Lilian Jégou (Fra) Française des Jeux                       
DNF Markel Irizar (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNF Andrea Moletta (Ita) Gerolsteiner
DNF Thomas Peterson (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30             
DNF Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Milram                            
DNF Christophe Rinero (Fra) Agritubel                           
DNF Kevin Ista (Bel) Agritubel                                  
DNF Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step                                                     
DNF Dionisio Galparsoro (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                 
DNF Lander Aperribai (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                    
DNF Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team CSC                                
DNF Christophe Brandt (Bel) Silence-Lotto                       
DNF Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Liquigas                         
DNF Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas                              
DNF Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas                               
DNF Massimiliano Mori (Ita) Lampre                              
DNF Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Lampre                                
DNF Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre                                
DNF Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner                            

Final General Classification
1 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                     29.02.48
2 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale                   0.03
3 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Silence-Lotto                      0.48
4 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank                               0.51
5 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                   1.09
6 Juan Manuel Gárate (Spa) Quick Step                        1.12
7 Gorka Verdugo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                      2.17
8 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step                            2.24
9 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis                             2.39
10 Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Quick Step                        3.21
11 Clément Lhôtellerie (Fra) Skil-Shimano                    4.11
12 Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre                                 4.23
13 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Crédit Agricole                      4.42
14 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis                              5.24
15 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Agritubel                         7.22
16 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto                           7.31
17 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre                               7.48
18 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                     10.00
19 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Crédit Agricole                13.08
20 Trent Lowe (Aus) Slipstream Chipotle - H30               13.53
21 Yann Huguet (Fra) Cofidis                                16.37
22 Alberto Losada (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                    19.05
23 Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas                          19.36
24 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Crédit Agricole                    25.55
25 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC                             26.50
26 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC                              27.33
27 David Arroyo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                      28.02
28 Igor Antón (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                       29.54
29 José Luis Arrieta (Spa) Ag2r-La Mondiale                 30.39
30 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                  32.15
31 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux                33.07
32 Hubert Dupont (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                     33.18
33 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step                          34.44
34 Aurélien Passeron (Fra) Saunier Duval-Scott              36.13
35 Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel) Silence-Lotto                36.33
36 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                  37.25
37 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence-Lotto                        37.44
38 Kjell Carlström (Fin) Liquigas                           38.08
39 Bernhard Kohl (Aut) Gerolsteiner                         38.43
40 Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Team CSC                      38.55
41 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Gerolsteiner                          41.48
42 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank                           42.15
43 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Crédit Agricole                42.49
44 Ivan Santaromita (Swi) Liquigas                          43.17
45 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux                     43.34
46 David López García (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                43.35
47 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel                        43.39
48 Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Agritubel                         44.30
49 Josep Jufré (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                    45.47
50 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre                            45.53
51 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole                       46.00
52 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC                                47.10
53 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre                             48.37
54 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                    50.30
55 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team CSC                         52.15
56 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30    52.16
57 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner                     53.07
58 Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30               53.33
59 José Alberto Benítez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott           53.48
60 Morris Possoni (Ita) High Road                           54.03
61 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole                       54.08
62 Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram                           55.52
63 Xavier Florencio (Spa) Bouygues Telecom                  57.00
64 Claudio Corioni (Ita) Liquigas                           58.01
65 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                  1.03.34
66 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Quick Step                    1.03.43
67 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Slipstream Chipotle - H30     1.05.12
68 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française des Jeux             1.06.57
69 Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott              1.08.25
70 Marc De Maar (Ned) Rabobank                            1.10.19
71 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis                         1.11.52
72 Bingen Fernández (Spa) Cofidis                         1.12.24
73 Yoann Le Boulanger (Fra) Française des Jeux            1.13.21
74 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis                            1.13.44
75 Cyril Dessel (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                    1.15.30
76 Thierry Huppond (Fra) Skil-Shimano                     1.18.25
77 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Rabobank                         1.25.49
78 Anthony Charteau (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                1.25.56
79 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram                        1.28.50
80 Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil-Shimano                    1.29.30
81 Ralf Grabsch (Ger) Team Milram                         1.29.39
82 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Agritubel                        1.32.12
83 Lucas Euser (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30            1.34.22
84 Aitor Hernández (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                1.35.36
85 Björn Schröder (Ger) Team Milram                       1.38.19
86 Christophe Edaleine (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale             1.51.45

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