Having won Stage 1 of Paris-Nice thanks to the top end speed of 2012 French road race champion Nacer Bouhanni, FDJ capped off the 'race to the sun' with victory on the final stage by 2013 French road race champion Arthur Vichot who elevated himself onto the final step of the podium due to the bonus points on offer at the finish line. Bouhanni also held the yellow jersey for two days in a successful race for the French team.
"I could not ask for more," Vichot said with a big smile after claiming his second WorldTour win having won Stage 5 of the 2012 Critérium du Dauphiné in 2012.
"It's great to win with the tricolour jersey, this is the first time [to win wearing it]. This rewards the work of my teammates who have supported me all week for me, who was their leader for the first time."
Earlier in the season, Vichot was down as a starter for Tirreno-Adriatico in order to prepare for Milan-San Remo but the unveiling of the Paris-Nice route in early February saw DS Marc Madiot decided on the French race which this year was more suited classics than GC riders.
"It's true," said Vichot. "Paris-Nice this year was heavily loaded with punchers and so I started in the general classification. I knew this morning that it was not fixed. Everything was still possible. In the sprint, there has been a fall behind me, but that's racing ... Me, I was the victim of a jumped chain, I do not know what happened, but it did not stop me from winning.
"Since the departure of Mantes-la-Ville, Paris-Nice was held as a classic every day. You had to be focused all the time, well placed. Every second is paid cash. It's a great week for me, for my team. It's too good."
The next goal for Vichot will be the Ardennes and Madiot along with the team managers who were present in the race, Thierry Bricaud and Franck Pineau, all applauded the performance of the 25-year-old who looks to have reached a new level of racing during the week. Last year Vichot was 68 at Amstel Gold, 18th at La Flèche Wallonne and 40th at Liège - Bastogne - Liège. His best performance at La Doyenne so far was 21st in 2012
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