March 13, 2005
Julich takes Paris-Nice!
Alejandro Valverde won the final stage at Paris-Nice, but he couldn't close a 19 second gap to race leader Bobby Julich, who becomes the first winner of a ProTour stage race and the first US winner of Paris-Nice.
Valverde was 2nd overall, jumping over Saunier Duval's Constantino Zaballa, who finished 3rd. Julich's teammate Jens Voigt was 4th overall, at 44 seconds, just ahead of Liberty Seguros' Jorg Jaksche at 45 seconds.
It was CSC's 2nd consecutive win in the Race to the Sun, as Jaksche took the overall last year, while riding for CSC.
David Moncoutie ensured himself the climber's jersey with his part in a breakaway over today's climbs, while Voigt took the sprinter's jersey off Tom Boonen, who abandoned during the stage along with almost 50 other riders, by winning some points at the intermediate sprints today. Valverde takes the (blue) young rider's jersey.
T-Mobile's Alexandre Vinokourov made a serious go at the stage win, but his break-mate, Alberto Contador, wouldn't work, and the pair's jockeying helped the field overtake Vinokourov in the last 100 meters.
Julich will likely sit atop the ProTour standings only until Tuesday, when Oscar Freire is likely to win Tirreno-Adriatico.
Discovery Channel briefly set the pace late in the stage, trying to place Yaroslav Popovych in position for a stage win, and Popovych was 4th on the day.
Yaroslav Popovych - best talant in ukrainian velosport!!!
Posted by: Volodia Perliak at Apr 7, 2005 6:08:22 AM