The 2021 edition of Paris-Nice ended on Sunday with a dramatic stage 8 where Primoz Roglic lost his yellow jersey to Maximilian Schachmann. Due to a crash in the beginning of the race, David Gaudu was unable to complete the stage. Fortunately, the young Frenchman escaped any serious injuries and is already looking ahead to his next goals, as is Arnaud Démare, who did some good efforts again today with Milan-Sanremo in mind.
Only 92 kilometers were to be covered to complete the 2021 edition of Paris-Nice on Sunday. The bunch surely expected some intense racing, although the course was much less demanding than the one initially planned around Nice. Quite logically, attacks came from all over the place early in the race, but it was still more or less all together when David Gaudu suffered a crash, a few days after the one towards Chiroubles. “The only card we really had today was David,” Thierry Bricaud said later. “We knew it was going to be difficult for the others. Unfortunately David crashed early and our race ended at that point”. Twenty-second in the overall standings on Sunday morning, the French climber was unable to continue but fortunately escaped serious injuries. “He suffers some wounds and bruises in his knee, but it looks like he hasn’t broken anything,” said Thierry Bricaud. “From now on, the first goal for him will be to recover, then to get over this Paris-Nice and to head onto new objectives”. The Ardennes Classics will be the 24-year-old young man’s next goals.
“Arnaud was into a work mindset”, David Han
On the rough course designed around Levens on Sunday, David Gaudu was not the only one to crash. Yellow jersey Primoz Roglic also hit the tarmac and then got dropped in the final lap of the circuit. “It was a crazy day,” said Thierry. “We knew it could be intense, the terrain could offer a nice fight, but it was not a scenario that was actually expected”. On his own in the final, the Slovenian lost his jersey to defending champion Maximilian Schachmann, while Magnus Cort took the stage in the sprint. As for the French champion Arnaud Démare, he once gain made some good effort on Sunday, already thinking about Milan-Sanremo. “Sometimes, you can struggle physically on the weekend, especially on terrain that doesn’t suit you,” David Han said. “It did not happen for him. Arnaud was very consistent, recovered well and was perhaps even getting better and better. In the past, he sometimes chose to stop earlier in order to focus on recovery. This time, he knew he needed to work and put in the extra effort for what’s to come. He will still have plenty of time to recover, as there is almost a week gap. He was really into a work mindset, and that’s not surprising coming from him. He knew that all efforts were worth taking before Milan-Sanremo”.