By Jean-François Quénet in Nice
Team Columbia's Maxime Monfort was not surprised by the attack of Team Astana's Alberto Contador during the final stage of Paris-Nice, but he was generally surprised by the high level of racing throughout the week. He was also amazed to watch "the lack of reaction as other riders let Contador go."
"It was a terrible race," said Monfort, who was not happy with his performance of 12th on the final day and 12th overall. "Had I had a good day on Friday, I would have climbed the Montagne de Lure two minutes faster and that would have put me in ninth position, which was still far from my target of being in the top-five."
Monfort's state of fatigue at the end of the week-long race on the Promenade des Anglais illustrated just how competitive Paris-Nice was this year. In 2008, Monfort's race experience was quite different; he finished the race with a second place in the final stage behind Luis León Sánchez and a 14th place overall.
"One week ago, I thought I would race better than that, but it wasn't possible to do what I expected this year. I was only able to follow."
"The level of this Paris-Nice was very high," he said, but he did note the level of each race varies from year to year. "I'm not disappointed about this year. It was just how it was."