Young Spaniard Marc Soler on Sunday snatched victory at Paris-Nice from Briton Simon Yates with a daring breakaway on a soaked final stage.
The Movistar rider jumped away from the group of favourites with more than 50 kilometres left in the 110-km mountainous ride around Nice to take third place in the eighth stage won by fellow Spaniard David de la Cruz of Team Sky. "I'm really happy", said Soler, who just secured the biggest win of his career thus far.
"It's really a dream come true to win Paris-Nice and add my name to the winners' list next to some of the greats of cycling", Soler said. He was 35 seconds adrift of Soler.
"I'm progressing each year and I'm getting used to riding at that level".
With the exception of Simon Yates and David de la Cruz, none of the final top 10 at Paris-Nice had finished in the top 10 of a Grand Tour, with the Race to the Sun once again giving a chance for the lesser-known and up-and-coming GC riders to shine.More news: Bucks assign Wilson to Wisconsin Herd
They increased their lead to 1 minute, 30 seconds at one stage. Soler collected bonus seconds in the second intermediate sprint at La Turbie before Fraile unsuccessfully tried to go solo in the descent of Col d'Eze.
Yates ended the stage in sixth place to finish second overall to Soler and ahead of Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida). And now I lost Paris-Nice by four seconds.
Yates timed his attack to perfection at the end of a challenging day in the saddle in wet and cold conditions in the mountains north of Nice, accelerating out of the wheel of team-mate Roman Kreuziger, before launching another move to dispatch of Ion Izagirre to take the stage win.
"I'm getting closer. previous year I lost Romandie on the last day as well by 20 seconds and now I lost Paris-Nice by four seconds".