They may not have won a single stage at the ‘race to the sun’, but Team Sky yet again dominated Paris-Nice where Colombia’s Egan Bernal won their sixth title in eight years.
Bernal, still just 22, once again impressed throughout a week of hard racing that saw the flyweight climber contend with strong winds and echelons where, on occasion, he mixed it up alongside those better suited to the spring classics.
It was not just Bernal, though, that impressed. During the opening three stages Luke Rowe appeared in his element as the Team Sky road captain rode full pelt into the strong winds that battered and buffeted the peloton, the Welshman looking in good nick ahead of next month’s Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
Throughout the week, too, the 23-year-old Hackney-born rider Tao Geoghegan Hart worked tirelessly on behalf of Bernal and Michal Kwiatkowski, who won the points classification jersey.
Bernal clinched the second WorldTour stage race of his career after first taking the leader’s yellow jersey off team-mate Kwiatkowski following Saturday’s stage, before on Sunday reacting to an attack from compatriot Nairo Quintana (Movistar) who attacked with 47 kilometres of the 110km final stage remaining to seal victory.
Despite leading by a minute at one point, Quintana was reined back in by the Team Sky-powered chase who delivered Bernal and Kwiatkowski to the line just four seconds behind the Movistar rider. Quintana finished second on general classification, 39 secs adrift of Bernal. Kwiatkowski was third 1min 3 secs behind his team-mate.