Soler leaves Yates behind to win Paris-Nice

Soler leaves Yates behind to win Paris-Nice”

Spain's Marc Soler was rewarded for his long-rage attack in the final stage as he beat Britain's Simon Yates by four seconds to win the Paris-Nice race on Sunday.

David De La Cruz (Sky) won the 110km stage ahead of Omar Fraile (Fraile), with Soler third at three seconds but with enough time and bonus seconds in hand for the overall victory.

De La Cruz won the stage ahead of Fraile, with Soler crossing the finish line three seconds back on the Promenade des Anglais.

"It's a dream. I've never won a WorldTour race before". I had a stage win yesterday.

And Yates then made his move to the top of the standings on the penultimate day with victory on the queen stage at La Colmiane, the Briton seizing an opportunity as Sanchez waned.

Yates had few teammates left to help him and the disorganized peloton broke up under the pressure of attacks by Spanish brothers Ion and Gorka Izagirre of Bahrain-Merida, who had started the day in second and third at 11 seconds and 12 seconds behind Yates, but they crashed with just 5km remaining allowing Yates' group to catch them.

"I'm getting closer. a year ago I lost Romandie on the last day as well by 20 seconds and now I lost Paris-Nice by four seconds".

However bets of a French Tour de France victor in 2018 might be a bit premature with all of the victories coming from established riders in either sprints or breakaways and only one French rider, Alexis Vuillermoz, finishing in the top 10 overall.

Another strong week comes after De la Cruz took time trial success on the final stage of the Ruta del Sol in February to prove his future GC credentials, performances that will surely earn him a place in the team's Giro d'Italia squad in two month's time.

"It was a really aggressive race as we expected".

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