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Primoz Roglic loses Paris-Nice after crashing twice on final stage

Team Jumbo rider Slovenias Primoz Roglic wearing the overall leaders yellow jersey crosses the finish line of the 8th stage of the 79th Paris Nice cycling race 93 km between Le PlanDuVar and Levens on March 14 2021 Photo by AnneChristine POUJOULAT AFP Photo by ANNECHRISTINE POUJOULATAFP via Getty Images
An injured Roglic crosses the line in Levens, his race lost (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) lost out on a Paris-Nice victory on the final day of the race after crashing twice on the shortened 92.7-kilometre stage from Le Plan-du-Var to Levens.

The Slovenian, who held a 52-second lead over Bora-Hansgrohe's Max Schachmann heading into the day, first hit the deck on an early descent after passing through the finish line on the hilly 36km circuit.

He was quickly back up and running, albeit with torn shorts and road rash on his left hip, but later on went down once again on the same descent, unseen to the television cameras.

While racing in the valley, some 25 kilometres out from the finish, he was caught out in a split in the peloton, and it quickly emerged that he had crashed for a second time, suffering a tear in his shorts on the right side, too.

Roglič had several teammates with him at the time, but quickly burned through them in the chase back to the main group, which saw Astana-Premier Tech and Bora-Hansgrohe quickly take the front to take advantage of the yellow jersey's misfortune.

The Jumbo-Visma rider quickly shed time, and by the 15 kilometre to go mark, Schachmann was in the virtual yellow jersey. Roglič continued to chase solo as Bora-Hansgrohe and Astana-Premier Tech led at the front of the race but had lost over three minutes to the stage winner, giving Schachmann a repeat victory in the race.

Roglic lost 3:08 on the stage and tumbled to 15th in the final general classification.

Speaking at the finish, his teammate Steven Kruijswijk explained what had happened.

"He crashed on the last time of the downhill, on one of last corners, and he couldn’t get the chain back on, so he got a little caught up behind, and in the front of course they started pulling," the Dutchman said. 

"There was a lot of wind in the valley, and with only three or four of us, we couldn’t’ close the gap. We tried to close it as fast as possible but weren’t able to get back. 

"After the first crash, where he went down pretty hard, we got him back in the front and tried to take control of race. The last crash was really out of the blue, otherwise we could have kept the jersey I think. It’s shit for him. He fought until the end. If you see how he showed himself the past week, he was the strongest in the race, but anything can happen until the last day."