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Paris-Nice. Stage 7. Miguel Angel Lopez is second after a fantastic race

Astana’s leader Miguel Angel Lopez showed today he stays in a very good form, ready for the big goals of the season. Lopez was one of the strongest riders of this queen mountain stage of the Paris-Nice, missing just a little to win stage 7.

Together with Magnus Cort, Miguel Angel became a part of a huge breakaway of the day. On the final climb Col de Turini (14.9 km, 7.3%) Lopez made a few very powerful attacks, finally creating a group of 4 leaders with Simon Yates, Nicolas Edet and Daniel Martinez. With 5 km to go Astana’s rider attacked solo, but later the rivals came across him. Inside the final kilometer Lopez and Martinez went away together to play the stage victory. In the uphill sprint Martinez became a bit faster, taking the win, while Miguel Angel Lopez finished second.

- I gave my all today. I felt really good and I was aiming for this stage from the beginning of the race. The team did a good job in the beginning, so I was able to jump into that big group together with Magnus Cort, who provided me a good help. On the last climb I just did my best. I attacked for many times, but rivals were also strong. In the end of the day Martinez was a bit faster, I have to congratulate him. It is a pity I could not win this stage, but this is only my first race in Europe. The main thing I proved I am on the right way to my main goals, - said Miguel Angel Lopez.

Behind the breakaway there was a fight for the general classification. Astana’s Luis Leon Sanchez fought until the very last moment, but finally, was forced to give up. After this stage Sanchez moved down to 11th position, 3 minutes 20 seconds behind the new race leader Egan Bernal. Anyway, with only 1 stage to go Luis Leon still have some chances to enter the Top-10 of the general classification.

A very difficult final stage 8 will be held tomorrow: the peloton will pass 110 km around Nice, facing 6 categorized climbs!

Photo credit: © Getty Images

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