Skip to main content

Live coverage

Paris-Nice stage 7 and coronavirus – live updates

Paris-Nice 2020 stage profiles

(Image credit: ASO / Paris-Nice)

Paris-Nice 2020 hub page

Paris-Nice: Benoot wins stage 6

Bardet frustrated with riding on at Paris-Nice during coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus: World champion Mads Pedersen leaves Paris-Nice

Coronavirus and cycling: A timeline of the pandemic's effect on the sport

Giro d'Italia postponed due to coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus crisis: Where do cycling and global sports go next? – Podcast

Stage 7 result

1 Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa-Samsic 04:27:01

2 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb 00:00:47

3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 00:00:56

4 Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Pro Cycling

5 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo

6 Max Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:58

7 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 00:01:19

8 Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling 00:01:22

9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:01:32

10 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ

Final general classification

1 Max Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 27:14:23

2 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb 00:00:18

3 Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Pro Cycling 00:00:59

4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 00:01:16

5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 00:01:24

6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa-Samsic 00:01:30

7 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 00:02:03

8 Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling 00:02:16

9 Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:03:39

10 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 00:04:36

Refresh

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the final stage of Paris-Nice and the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Countless sports events and leagues around the world have been called off over the past few days, but here we are on the road from Nice to the summit finish of Valdeblore La Colmiane, as Paris-Nice is somehow still running...

The final stage, due to be held on Sunday around Nice, has already been cancelled, of course.

As things stand, today's stage is the last major professional bike race to be held in Europe until April.

157km remaining

The peloton have already kicked things off and are on the road.

Anthony Perez (Cofidis) and Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) have jumped away from the peloton to start up the first breakaway attempt of the day.

Reports are circulating that the Tour of Flanders has been postponed. There's no official confirmation of that yet, though it is unlikely to take place as scheduled. In a radio interview, Flemish sports minister Ben Weyts said: "Let's be honest, I don't think it will be feasible."

Anti-coronavirus 'lockdown' measures in the country are set to the run until April 3, with the race scheduled to be run just two days after that date.

"You cannot impose measures until 3 April and then organise the biggest popular festival in Flanders on 5 April," said Flanders Classics CEO Tom Van Den Spiegel to Het Nieuwsblad. "We have to understand that it will go in the direction of a cancellation. And when you hear this message from the minister, it seems irreversible."

150km remaining

Back to Paris-Nice

Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Fabien Doubey (Circus Wanty Gobert), Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) are chasing the leaders.

Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling), Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), Tiesj Benoot (Team Sunweb) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) have joined them.

Here's our latest on the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic – a feature on how it's affecting top level women's racing.

Coronavirus: Counting the cost on the Women's WorldTour

'The economic damage from coronavirus is clearly way more than just a cycling problem'

92 riders started Paris-Nice today, down from 136 who were on the start list in Plaisir.

Nils Politt, Jenthe Biermans and Tom Van Asbroeck pulled out overnight as Israel Start-Up Nation left the race. World champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Roger Kluge (Lotto-Soudal) and Ben O’Connor (NTT Pro Cycling) also withdrew.

138km remaining

The lead group right now is: Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Aurelien Paret-Peintre (AG2R La Mondiale), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Alberto Bettiol (EF Pro Cycling) Anthony Perez and Nicolas Edet (both Cofidis).

A chase group consisting of Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Fabien Doubey (Circus-Wanty Gobert) and Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) is behind, just ahead of the peloton.

The riders are midway up the first climb of the day, the first category Col de Vence (9.7km at 6.6 per cent).

45 seconds between the chasers and the lead. The peloton are 15 seconds further back.

128km remaining

The break has reached the top of the climb now. The chasing group with Bardet has been reeled in by the peloton.

Here's the KOM result over the top of the Col de Vence. Edet led the classification witht 29 points head into today.

1. Edet 10 points

2. De Gendt 8 points

3. Alaphilippe 6 points

4. Perez 4 points

5. Bettiol 3 points

6. Paret-Peintre 2 points

7. Schwarzmann 1 point

115km remaining

They're heading down the descent now, and the peloton has let the gap go out. The break is three minutes up the road.

Live TV coverage isn't set to start for some time yet.

You can read our guide on how to watch the final stage of Paris-Nice to find out where its being aired.

Alternately, listen to our podcast – The coronavirus crisis: Where do cycling and global sports go next?

Here's a shot of today's breakaway.

And here's what Alaphilippe had to say at the start of the stage.

"I’m very happy to have ridden this far. Top ten on GC is cool but it’s not exceptional. Given the circumstances, I only want to have fun, to ride, to attack and not to think about the race: just have fun.

"Yesterday, we controlled all day, we wanted to win the stage, but it can’t work every time. Today is another stage with a very complicated finale. I know it will be difficult for me against the best climbers like Higuita and Quintana. I just want to have fun by riding at the front. It’s a nice playground to finish this Paris-Nice."

As well as the statements from Flanders Classics about the Tour of Flanders, Scheldeprijs organiser Jack Vissers has spoken about his race, which is set to run on April 8.

"I think common sense and current events say that our race will not be able to continue," he told Sporza. "However, no decision has yet been taken. We are waiting. Together with our umbrella organization Flanders Classics, we are looking into what the government will determine."

105km remaining

The breakaway leads the peloton by 2:35.

The break pass the 100km to go mark.

Bora-Hansgrohe lead the peloton on behalf of race leader Max Schachmann.

The break hit the second climb of the day, the second-category Col de la Sigale (6.6km at 4.9 per cent).

A 42kph average speed in the second hour. The break lead by three minutes as they  near the top of the climb.

Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) has left the race.

71km remaining

Result of the Col de la Sigle KOM.

1. Edet 7 points 

2. De Gendt 5 points

3. Alaphilippe 3 points 

4. Paret-Peintre 2 points

5. Perez 1 point

Meanwhile, EF Pro Cycling are up there with Bora-Hansgrohe at the head of the peloton.

67km remaining

The riders have now crested the third climb of the day, another second-category test. Edet will certainly win the KOM jersey now.

1. Edet 7 points 

2. De Gendt 5 points

3. Alaphilippe 3 points 

4. Paret-Peintre 2 points

5. Perez 1 point

Once they hit the bottom of the descent, there's a spell in the valley before the final climb of the day, the 16.3km summit finish of Valdeblore La Colmiane.

The gap between break and peloton is still around the 2:40 mark.

58km remaining

The riders are in the valley now. We're approaching the final 50km of top level road racing for the month of March.

Here's a shot of Alaphilippe and the rest of today's break, with KOM leader Edet and Thomas De Gendt just behind him.

Paris Nice 2020 78th Edition 7th stage Nice Valdeblore La Colmiane 1665 km 14032020 Thomas De Gendt BEL Lotto Soudal Julian Alaphilippe FRA Deceuninck Quick Step photo Nico VereeckenPNBettiniPhoto2020

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

44km remaining

Arkéa, EF and Bora at the head of the peloton for their men who have hopes for the stage and GC – Nairo Quintana, Sergio Higuita, Max Schachmann.

Nicolas Edet heads back to the team car to get a quick fix on something on his bike. He's not very happy.

Edet had to stop altogether. There was something wrong with his front wheel. He'll have to work his way back to the break now.

40km remaining

Dan McLay was riding on the front for Quintana but he's dropped back now, his job done. 

Tom Scully (EF) and Patrick Konrad (Bora) are up front now.

The road is up and down on the run-in to the final climb. It's not flat by any means.

There's 2:50 between these guys and the peloton.

VALDEBLORE LA COLMIANE FRANCE MARCH 14 Aurlien ParetPeintre of France and Team AG2R La Mondiale Anthony Perez of France and Team Cofidis Solution Credits Alberto Bettiol of Italy and Team Ef Education First Nicolas Edet of France and Team Cofidis Solution Credits Polka Dot Mountain Jersey Thomas De Gendt of Belgium and Team Lotto Soudal Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Breakaway Peloton during the 78th Paris Nice 2020 Stage 7 a 1665km stage from Nice to Valdeblore La Colmiane 1500m Paris Nice 2020 final stage as part of the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus ParisNice parisnicecourse PN on March 14 2020 in Valdeblore La Colmiane France Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Edet made it back to the break after his mechanical problem.

Anthony Perez is back in the peloton now after dropping from the break. Five men out front now.

Bettiol nips ahead at the intermediate sprint to take the seconds away from Alaphilippe, just in case of any surprises from the Frenchman later on. He lies tenth overall, 2:02 down on Schachmann and 1:01 behind Higuita.

According to Eurosport's Rob Hatch, today there's no VIP car, no spectators on the climb and none at the finish.

27km remaining

Crash in the peloton! Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal) and an AG2R rider hit the deck on the descent.

The AG2R rider narrowly avoided somersaulting over the low barrier and down into the trees. 

AG2R's Mickael Cherel had a crash earlier today. Not a great day for the team.

That sound you hear is the 'Alaphilippe is no longer in the virtual race lead' klaxon, as the break's advantage drops under two minutes.

23km remaining

The gap is really coming down now. 1:30 is the latest check.

20km to go now and Arkéa take it up on the front with Connor Swift.

Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale) has abandoned the race. He must be the rider who crashed earlier.

16km remaining

The break hits the final climb and immediately splinters. Just Alaphilippe and De Gendt remain up front.

Less than a minute between break and peloton now.

De Gendt pushes on now, dropping Alaphilippe. 

Dayer Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-QuickStep) drop from the peloton.

14km remaining

Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) drops. He was fourth overall. Schachmann now has no teammates left. Tiesj Benoot (Team Sunweb) is alone too, as Winner Anacona (Arkéa-Samsic) puts in a dig.

And now Großschartner is back.

Richie Porte, Kenny Elissonde and Vincenzo Nibali remain for Trek-Segafredo.

12km

Anacona (Arkéa-Samsic) and Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) have jumped away from the peloton.

The gap to De Gendt has gone up to 1:20 as Bora-Hansgrohe control the peloton.

Trek head to the front of the peloton now. There's maybe around 13-14 riders left there as they catch Alaphilippe.

10km remaining

1:40 now between De Gendt and the peloton. Alaphilippe drops back.

I remember De Gendt saying last summer at the Tour de France that 20-30 minute climbs were his favourite – the point where he can ride at a 420-watt threshold while the chasers can't realistically put in a substantially bigger effort.

This climb is around 40 minutes long though. He's 1:20 up on the chase group with 9km to race. Can he do it?

Kenny Elissonde leads the peloton.

7km remaining

Romain Bardet jumps from the peloton! Elissonde's work is done. Porte takes over for Nibali.

Søren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) drops from the peloton now.

6km remaining

Just ten men remain in the 'peloton' behind Bardet.

Those men are: Nibali, Porte, Schachmann, Higuita, Quintana, Benoot, Kangert, Pinot, Bardet, Molard, Guillaume Martin.

4km remaining

Porte is putting in a big effort here. The gap is down to 40 seconds.

3.5km remaining

Quintana attacks! Kangert and Bardet drop back from the group, as do Martin and Molard. Porte's job is done too.

Higuita, Benoot, Nibali, Pinot and Schachmann chase.

3km remaining

Quintana catches and passes De Gendt.

Meanwhile, Higuita has a go but Schachmann is right with him.

Pinot ups the pace too. Nibali tried a move a few seconds ago. Still the five men stick together as they catch De Gendt.

2.5km remaining

30 seconds between Quintana and the Schachmann-Higuita chase group, if the GPS is to be believed. That was some attack.

Schachmann is looking comfortable as the men he's with keep putting in digs.

2km remaining

It looks like Quintana might have this in the bag. He's 40 seconds up now.

1km remaining

Quintana hits the flamme rouge with a 50-second advantage.

Benoot attacks!

Benoot lies 36 seconds down on Schachmann in the overall rankings. Six seconds up for grabs if he takes second place on the stage...

It's a big effort from Benoot and he's gaining time metre by metre. No big attack from Higuita so far...

250 metres to go for Quintana. It's another big win for him in 2020.

And Nairo Quintana wins the final stage of Paris-Nice!

Benoot is approaching the finish now.

Schachmann is going to hang on to yellow here.

Benoot is second, 47 seconds down.

Pinot leads the chasers over, 56 seconds back. Schachmann sheds a few seconds but he's won Paris-Nice!

Schachmann collapses to the ground after the finish.

Here's the top ten today

1 Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa-Samsic 04:27:01

2 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb 00:00:47

3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 00:00:56

4 Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Pro Cycling

5 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo

6 Max Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:58

7 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 00:01:19

8 Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling 00:01:22

9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:01:32

10 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ

And here's the final GC

1 Max Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 27:14:23

2 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb 00:00:18

3 Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Pro Cycling 00:00:59

4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 00:01:16

5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 00:01:24

6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa-Samsic 00:01:30

7 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 00:02:03

8 Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling 00:02:16

9 Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:03:39

10 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 00:04:36

Here's Quintana celebrating victory today.

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

And Schachmann recovering from his effort after the finish.

Paris Nice 2020 - 78th Edition - 7th stage Nice - Valdeblore La Colmiane 166,5 km - 14/03/2020 - Maximilian Schachmann (GER - Bora - Hansgrohe) - photo Nico Vereecken/PN/BettiniPhoto©2020

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Here's what Schachmann had to say after the finish.

"It was very, very hard. I think you saw that Patrick [Konrad] Schwarzy [Michael Schwarzmann] and Felix [Grobschartner] did an incredible job. We controlled the race with three riders. For me it was a really hard finish. I'm going to be honest, in the last three kilometres I walked through hell and a world of pain. But not it's like being in heaven. Every little bit of pain in my legs was worth it

"This is the fourth year of my career and this is one of the biggest wins of my career and one of the most important steps. It feels so great because for my whole life people were doubting if I could be a GC rider but it was always my dream. Now I'm here and I've won one of the most prestigious one-week stage races.

And here's Quintana's post-race flash interview...

"I always try to win like this, with elegance and a good attitude.

"We were highly motivated to do things well and have been working hard. The team worked hard catch the break and then I did what I had to do. There was nothing I could do for the GC. I crashed badly and l lost too much time that day. So I knew I had to attack today, because I wanted to bring joy to the team, because of the effort that everyone has made. It is a gift for all of them. I always demand a lot, but here are the results.

"Now we'll try to return to Colombia, spend time with the family while this important problem for the world is resolved. We are aware of what is happening, we've finally finished today and we will also be quarantined so that this virus does not continue to spread. We have to listen to the authorities so that this does not get out of hand and we can all return to work soon."

That was was Quintana's third summit finish victory of the 2020 season, and his fifth win this year. It looks like the Quintana renaissance will be put on hold now though, with no races scheduled for the rest of the month, and April and May race under dire  threat as well.

The Colombian's next scheduled races are set to be the Ardennes Classics, which start in mid-April.

Meanwhile, Paris-Nice is Schachmann's first stage race win as a pro. He won 2016 Tour d'Alsace when he was riding as an Under-23 for Klein Constantia, which was Deceuninck-QuickStep's feeder team.

Max Schachmann was in good form at the Volta ao Algarve last month. There, he finished second overall and told Cyclingnews that he felt better than the same point in 2019, and that his big goals were coming up around the corner.

"The bigger goals are next month and in April," he said. "My legs are feeling good. It's always a kind of surprise to see where you are after the winter, and I'm happy about my form and condition. It was a regular, normal off-season. I had a good preparation so far.

"I feel a little bit better this year at this time," he said. "Last year, during the UAE Tour, I got better day-by-day, but now I'm already quite good on the second day. That's a good sign, I hope. Like I said, I'm really happy about everything right now.

"I hope I've improved. That's always the goal. We're going to see in the next two, three, four months."

Our full stage 7 report is now live

That's all for our live coverage of the 2020 edition of Paris-Nice. We'll be back with more live race reporting... at some point.

In the mean time, keep coming back to Cyclingnews.com for all the latest on the coronavirus, race cancellations and all the other latest pro cycling news.

The final podium of the 2020 Paris-Nice (l-r): Tiesj Benoot, Maximilian Schachmann and Sergio Higuita

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Latest on Cyclingnews