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Mar 12, 2016 – The much-anticipated mountain-packed weekend in the Paris-Nice race lived up to its expectations today as the pre-race favorites applied the needed pressure to break open the race. Australian Michael Matthews, race leader going into the stage, prematurely answered questions regarding his climbing ability when he cracked on the penulitamate climb of this 177-kilometer stage in the mountainous back hills of Nice. At the front, Alberto Contador lived up to his moniker of the “El Pistolero,” with his incessant attacks that put all other contenders on the rivet. But at the end of the day he could not shake them, and could only watch as Russia’s Ilnur Zakarin snagged the stage and Welsh rider Geraint Thomas took over the race lead.
Photos and Words by James Startt