Betancur claims biggest win with Paris-Nice title

Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:42pm EDT
 
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By Gilles Le Roc'h

NICE, France (Reuters) - Colombian Carlos Betancur, the best young rider in last year's Giro d'Italia, claimed his biggest victory when he won the Paris-Nice stage race on Sunday.

The winner of the day's final stage was France's Arthur Vichot, who outsprinted Spain's Jose Joaquin Rojas and compatriot Cyril Gautier to cross the line first having come close several times this week.

The 24-year-old Betancur, who joined the AG2r-La Mondiale outfit last season, kept his composure in Sunday's 128-km ride around Nice.

It was the first victory by a French team in the Paris-Nice since Toshiba dominated the field with Swiss Tony Rominger in 1991.

"It had been 23 years without an overall win for a French team here and my team is 23 years old," team manager Vincent Lavenu told reporters.

"It is important that a French team win this first big World Tour event."

Betancur was able to count on team mates Mickael Cherel, Romain Bardet and Alexis Vuillermoz throughout the race.

In the finale, Luxembourg's Frank Schleck and Slovenia's Simon Spilak tried their luck but were reined in with the finish line in sight.   Continued...