American cruises to victory in Paris-Nice race

13th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

NICE, France, March 13 (AFP) - American Bobby Julich of the CSC team won the Paris-Nice race here on Sunday after the seventh stage was won by Spaniard Alejandro Valverde in the first cycling event of a new era.

NICE, France, March 13 (AFP) - American Bobby Julich of the CSC team won the Paris-Nice race here on Sunday after the seventh stage was won by Spaniard Alejandro Valverde in the first cycling event of a new era.

Julich beat Valverde by 10 seconds in the overall standings to become the first leader of the International Cycling Union's Pro Tour series. The UCI's 27-race Pro Tour heralds a new era in cycling and encompasses the former World Cup series.

It was also American Lance Armstrong's first event of 2005, when he will go for a ground-breaking seventh consecutive Tour de France title, though illness meant he did not start Thursday's fourth stage. He is next due to race in a ProTour event at the Tour of Flanders on April 3.

The 33-year-old Julich, who lives in Nice during the European season, confirmed the strength of his CSC team which has been performing well since the start of the season. The Danish team had also won the Paris-Nice last year through German Jorg Jaksche.

The final stage, a hilly, 135km course around Nice, saw unsuccessful breakaways by Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov, a former two-time winner in 2002 and 2003, and Spain's Alberto Contador who were only overhauled in the final 50 metres.

Italy's Franco Pellizotti came second in the stage ahead of Luxembourg's Kim Kirchen.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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