Ivan Cortina (Team Bahrain McLaren) took his first win of the season when he sprinted to victory on today’s third stage of Paris-Nice in a crash-marred finish.
The 212-kilometre stage starting from Châlette-sur-Loing and finishing in La Châtre was the second longest stage of the race. With just one classified climb in the stage, this was predicted to be one for the sprinters. However, riders would have to remain attentive for potential crosswinds which could represent the real challenge of the day.
Tom Devriendt (Circus-Wanty Gobert) went clear alone after a few kilometres and gained a gap of almost 10 minutes, before the peloton started to reduce his lead and with around 25 kilometres remaining, the Belgian was caught.
Bora-Hansgrohe and Deceuninck – Quick-Step were amongst the teams to the fore on the run-in. However, there was bad luck for the German team when Pascal Ackermann suffered from a mechanical 4 kilometres from the finish line.
In the finishing straight, Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) were ruled out of contention after getting caught up in a crash and it was García who proved to be the strongest after nearly six hours in the saddle, beating Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) into second with Andrea Pasqualon (Circus – Wanty Gobert) taking third.
Race leader, Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) crossed the line in thirteenth position to keep hold of the yellow jersey for a third day, ahead of tomorrow’s individual time trial at Saint-Amand-Montrond.
Ivan Cortina: “I am always happy to compete at Paris-Nice, and it’s really amazing for me to win the stage at such race as Paris-Nice. At the final, I managed to find my good place and position for the final sprint to go full gas. As everybody suffered in such hard conditions, I was waiting, as always to try and use such conditions like today and grab my chance. The character of the race was like the classics race, and I’m really happy before the upcoming classics ahead to take a victory. I am super happy with the performance of the whole team. I did a good job with Dylan at the front, and in the end, everything went really good, and I took my chance for the win”.