Antonio Colom rocketed ahead of Alberto Contador (Astana) and Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank) to win the final stage of Paris-Nice Sunday on France's Riviera. The Spaniard of Katusha hopes the result bodes well for the Vuelta a País Vasco next month.
"I am very happy I won the stage, although the general classification leaves a bitter taste in my mouth," he said.
The 30-year-old lost time early on in the French stage race, known as the Race to the sun. He finished 1:47 down from overall winner Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d'Epargne) after eight days of racing.
"Unfortunately, I lost a minute and a half on the flat stages, which were marked by high winds. And I had some problem of bronchitis."
Colom's saving grace was the 119-kilometre final stage in Nice. He worked with Schleck to reel in Contador in the final 14 kilometres. Colom maintained position under constant attacks from Contador.
"I waited for the final climb to attack and bring back Contador, who was in the lead with a thirty-second advantage. We arrived as a group and I was able to pull off a great sprint."
Colom, winner of two other races this year, said that his goal is now the Vuelta a País Vasco, April 6 to 11, in Northern Spain. He finished 11th overall in 2007.