Betancur nets Colombia’s first ever Paris-Nice – and top spot of UCI WorldTour

Betancur nets Colombia’s first ever Paris-Nice – and top spot of UCI WorldTour

Betancur nets Colombia’s first ever Paris-Nice - and top spot of UCI WorldTour

Betancur nets Colombia’s first ever Paris-Nice – and top spot of UCI WorldTour

Carlos Alberto Betancur (AG2R La Mondiale) has secured much more than Colombia’s first ever win in Paris-Nice’s 81 year history on Sunday. He is also the new leader of the UCI WorldTour.

As is traditional in the fast, fraught racing that has characterized Paris-Nice in recent years, Betancur’s overall win was by measured by seconds, not minutes. The young Colombian finished just 14 seconds ahead of reigning World Champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), whilst French national champion Arthur Vichot (FDJ.fr) took third at the last moment possible, moving onto the podium 21 seconds back after claiming victory in a tricky small group sprint into Nice on stage eight.

By far the biggest victory of his career, Betancur first made his intentions clear when he captured the win from a late break of three on stage five’s short, punchy trek from Creches-sur-Saone to Rives-de-Gier.

The next day’s only summit finish of the race, at Fayence, proved decisive overall. After 221 kilometres – by far the longest stage of the 2014 Paris-Nice and running through the foothills of the French Alps – Betancur both claimed his second stage win of the race and simultaneously ousted Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) from the lead.

Although Simon Spilak (Team Katusha) proved a very dangerous rival on the last stage with an all-out attack over the Col d’Eze climb above Nice, Betancur’s team reeled the Slovenian all-rounder back into the pack within sight of the finish line. The Colombian finished eighth, with his overall win safely in his possession.

For AG2R La Mondiale, Betancur’s victory means they are the first French team to win Paris-Nice in 23 years, since Tony Rominger’s victory for Toshiba back in 1991 – the year after Betancur, 24, was born.

As for his UCI WorldTour lead, Betancur is currently tied on 114 points with Tour Down Under winner Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE). Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) now lies in third with 88 points but again equal on points – with Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team). Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) is fifth with 83 points, yet another indication that as yet it has been tricky for a clear UCI WorldTour leader to emerge.

That is far from the case in the UCI WorldTour nations classification, however, where Australia’s imperious start to the season in the Tour Down Under, with 334 points, allows them to remain in the top spot overall. Post Paris-Nice Colombia have now moved into second spot, but with 114 points, the Australia’s overall margin of advantage is still more than comfortable.

The teams classification is far more unsettled: Lampre-Merida, with 171 points, are the new leaders, 21 points ahead of the squad which was formerly in the top spot, Orica-GreenEDGE. Betancur’s team, AG2R La Mondiale are the other squad to make a major gain, shooting up from 11th to third overall with 115 points.

The main Classics of the first half of the season are fast looming, but Tirreno-Adriatico, due to finish on March 16th , could well see yet more major changes in the UCI WorldTour rankings before the main one-day races of the spring. Could we see another new UCI WorldTour leader in the individual rankings, and perhaps the teams classification, this week? Don’t rule it out.

Press Release: Andes Pacifico Day 4

Press Release: Andes Pacifico Day 4

Andes Pacifico Enduro MTB 4 Stage Race.

Yesterday after 3 special tests the Andes Pacifico arrived after 4 days to the Pacific ocean.

The first SS, “Ojeda ” was something known for some Chileans who had raced the last date of the Montenbaik Enduro 2013 in Puchuncavi. A lot of switchbacks and a big amount of rocks were a real surprise, same as the cloudy sky  that helped to lower the temperature. In this PE Jerome Clementz won with a time of 8:24 for his closest rival François Bailly- Maitre who arrived just a second further back. In Damas, Anka Martin continued her supremacy with a time of 10:13.

Andes Pacifico Enduro MTB 4 Stage Race.

The second PE was something new for everyone. With a link between eucalyptus forests and a totally different descent by native forests and many rock ruts that made fly the competitors to reach the sea. Clementz here again showed his supremacy taking home the special test followed by Pedro Ferreira who was finally starting to get the pace he wanted.

Andes Pacifico Enduro MTB 4 Stage Race.

Who take the second place? Nico or François? This PE was marked by a trail through native forests that leave with a smile on all competitors and it was very entertaining and fast! Here again Clementz continued his “total stage domination” and took the stage with 7:35 . Meanwhile Nico Prudencio did his best SS of the day and finished second, 9 seconds behind Clementz, meanwhile François  ended with three seconds more than Prudencio which assured the seond place for the Chilean  in the final standings.

Andes Pacifico Enduro MTB 4 Stage Race.

Finally Frenchman Jerome Clementz , Enduro World Champion won the first version of “Montenbaik Enduro – Andes Pacifico by Santa Cruz ” which began last Wednesday in La Parva, ending in Maitencillo, in the Valparaíso Region.

Andes Pacifico Enduro MTB 4 Stage Race.

The French rider led the race from start to finish, confirming his supremacy. He disputed thirteen special stages, and he beat for 3 minutes and 59 seconds to the current monarch Chilean Nicolas Prudencio, who lashed out at the last stage, moving by just six seconds into French Francois Bailly-Maitre the third step.

Day 3 of the Andes Pacifico near Santiago.

Meanwhile, the Woman category was won by the  New Zealander Anka Martin, followed by the French Pauline Dieffenthaler, and the British Julia Hobson.

Andes Pacifico Enduro MTB 4 Stage Race.

Finally, the Master series , the honors went to the Frenchman Francois Dola, who was on the podium with the prominent Chilean specialists Claus Plaut and Felipe Vásquez.

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We leave you with photos by Sven Martin, Gary Perkin, Dave Trumpore and Claudio Olguin.

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The results may be found on : http://montenbaik.com/Resultados/