Soler edges out Yates in dramatic Paris-Nice victory

Movistar's Marc Soler pipped Simon Yates to the overall Paris-Nice title by just four seconds after Sunday's final stage, which was won by David de la Cruz.

Soler trailed Yates of Mitchelton-Scott by 37 seconds heading into the day, but his third-placed finish - with the overnight leader back in sixth - was enough for the 24-year-old to snatch a first major general classification victory.

Arnaud Demare had been victorious on the first stage to set the early pace, but he withdrew citing fatigue before Saturday's racing, having lost the leaders' jersey to Luis Leon Sanchez after stage three.

And Yates then made his move to the top of the standings on the penultimate day with victory on the queen stage at La Colmiane, the Briton seizing an opportunity as Sanchez waned.

However, his narrow advantage over a congested chasing pack was not enough to hold onto the lead on Sunday when Soler attacked Team Sky's De la Cruz in an attempt to claim both the final stage and the overall title.

De la Cruz had enough to see off Soler and outsprint Omar Fraile, as Yates saw his lead ebb away.

This triumph continues a strong start to the 2018 season for Soler, who finished third behind Tim Wellens and Wout Poels at last month's Ruta del Sol.

The opening leg of the race saw the enforced withdrawal of Tejay van Garderen, following two crashes.

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