Remy Di Gregorio (Astana) made a tremendous save in the final kilometers after slipping on wet traffic stripe and then held on up a final drag race to the line to win a wild, crash-filled ride in Saturday’s 215km seventh stage at Paris-Nice.
Di Gregorio timed it right with a solo attack with 13km to go to hang on for his first victory since joining Astana this season, fending off a fast-charging Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), who darted to second for the second time inside three days. Rigoberto Uran (Sky) crossed the line third.
Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) came through fifth to widen his lead to 36 seconds to Andreas Kloden (RadioShack), with Bradley Wiggins (Sky) slipping to third at 41 seconds back with just one day of racing left.
Di Gregorio — once hailed as a future Tour de France contender but later succumbed to a string of injuries and uninspiring results – took risks to drive home his first win since a stage at the 2006 Tour de l’Avenir.
“For sure, I was missing moments like this. I waited so long to win a beautiful stage like this. It took a lot of work and a lot of questioning. I’m glad to offer this victory to those who kept believing in me,” Di Gregorio said after the stage. “I really went for it. I wondered at one stage whether I should wait for Vino, who was at the back, but Grivko and Roman (Kreuziger) saw I had good legs and told me to stay at the front. I had not right to miss out and the finale was so long. It was close, but to win like this you must take measured risks. With a 100 metres to go, it was a real relief.”
Karsten Kroon’s (BMC) marathon breakaway effort fell short when Di Gregorio attacked out of the bunch to reel in the BMC rider with about 13km to go. Movistar turned the screws on the peloton in the final hour of racing, but Martin hung on to take one step closer to overall Paris-Nice victory when the race ends Sunday.
Van Garderen brushes off crash, vows to help Martin
The “Race to the Sun” certainly didn’t live up to its moniker Saturday as the peloton slogged through cold, wet, windy and otherwise miserable racing conditions over
To read the whole story, visit here: http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/03/news/remy-di-gregorio-wins-stage-at-paris-nice-tony-martin-preserves-lead_163512
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