Two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) has his sights set on the overall victory in the Paris-Nice long-distance race after another show of force. The Slovenian won the seventh stage with finish on the 1678-meter-high Col de la Couillole and extended his lead in the battle for the yellow jersey.

The 24-year-old goes into Sunday's final stage twelve seconds ahead of Frenchman David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Tour champion Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) from Denmark is third (+0:58 minutes).

The order of the top three in the overall standings was identical to the day's result on Saturday: Pogacar pulled away decisively from his two opponents in a thrilling three-way battle a few meters before the finish. "We simply drove at full throttle from kilometre zero to the end. At the beginning of the final climb we were actually already completely at the limit," said Pogacar exhausted.

The stage was highly demanding: The last 15.7 kilometers led up to the summit with an average gradient of 7.1 percent. After all, the field went into the stage with an unusual "rest day" after the sixth stage had been cancelled on Friday due to "exceptionally strong winds".

Maximilian Schachmann was no longer at the start: The Paris-Nice winner of 2020 and 2021 did not start the stage on Saturday weakened by a cold. In the overall standings, the rider from the German team Bora-hansgrohe had been in 13th place, his gap to the top was 2:06 minutes. Former World Champion Mads Pedersen (Denmark/Trek-Segafredo), the previous leader of the points classification, also retired before the start.

The last stage starts and ends on Sunday in Nice, the field of riders has to overcome a demanding 118.4 kilometres around the port city, with five mountain classifications waiting. On the last 20 kilometers, however, it goes down to Nice, where the long-distance journey ends on the famous Promenade des Anglais. "Tomorrow will be another really difficult day. I will give everything to defend this jersey," Pogacar announced.