Roglič breaks Mäder's heart with late win at Paris-Nice

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) mowed down lone escapee Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious) in sight of the finish of stage 7 of Paris-Nice on Valdeblore La Colmiane to continue his reign of dominance, notching up his third stage win and padding his overall lead by another 11 seconds over defending champion Max Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe).

79th Paris - Nice 2021 - Stage 7

Primoz Roglic of Jumbo-Visma passes Gino Mader of Bahrain Victorious in the final metres of Stage 7 of Paris-Nice. Source: Getty

Mäder was in the lead solo after dropping the rest of his early breakaway companions and then holding onto his slim lead for the final, tough climb of La Colmiane. Roglič had put in one major surge, followed only by Schachmann, and while he'd eaten significantly in the gap to Mäder, when he realised that Schachmann was holding him, there was a dropoff in the temp and it looked like Mäder would take the win.

That was until Roglič dropped the hammer with a final, devastating attack, this time dropping all riders as he took off in pursuit of the lone remnant of the breakaway, passing the 24-year-old with 50 metres remaining to claim his third victory of this year's edition of Paris-Nice.

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The Swiss rider said he was close to tears after being denied his first WorldTour victory when he was passed with just 50 metres remaining on the 119km stage.

"I was scared I was going to catch a cold, he passed me so quick," Mäder said. "In that first moment, honestly, I was very close to crying. I’d said to myself it was my victory."

"Obviously, when you’re in the end with like 20 metres to go and a plane passes you, in the first moment you are absolutely gutted. But in the end I must say it was quite a nice experience to be up front and to play in the finale.

"I must be happy in the end – Roglič is a huge champion – but my first reaction was I’m gutted, I'm disappointed."

Roglič was questioned by journalists at the finish about his attacking to take the win.

"At the end, I saw I can try and go for it and I went," said Roglič. "It was a little shit situation for him [Mäder] but better for me. I'm happy about the result."

Roglic had similar versions of the question continually put to him, and responded in fiery fashion. 

"I would like to see when someone is giving the victories to me, and then I also say thanks to the other guys," said Roglič. "We all want to win, and you need to be the strongest to do that. We work hard, not just me but the whole team from the beginning of the stage. We had some kind of control, also our guys were pulling on the climb, then I could finish the job."

"I think we all want to win and if you can do it, it's always nice. You have to take what you can. It's not for free, we work hard for it."

Mäder revealed that he’d had a joking exchange with the Slovenian behind the podium.

"I said to him ‘next time, leave me be’. He said, ‘well, if you sprint, then maybe’. So now I know what I have to do," said Mäder. "It’s one of his qualities as a champion; he's always going for the win. He doesn’t give presents to his rivals. Obviously, I'd prefer if he just leaves me but it's one of his qualities. I aspire to have the same energy to go for the win every time. Hats off."

It's still a career benchmark for the 24-year-old, and the Swiss rider was pleased with the performance despite the agonising nature of the finish.

"In terms of my progress, you’d have to ask my coach," said Mäder, "but I think I've finally arrived in the pro ranks after being a bit under the radar for the first two years. I just hope I can continue like this."


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4 min read
Published 14 March 2021 at 10:23am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS