Eleven years after winning the Paris-Nice, German Andreas Kloeden yesterday proved he was still a force to be reckoned with when he won the hilly 193-km fifth stage.
Kloeden, 35, twice a Tour de France runner-up, has never totally fulfilled his promise but he outsprinted Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez of Spain on the line to clinch his first major win in almost two years.
After suffering in the climbs Ireland's Nicolas Roche finished in a six-strong group that crossed the line two minutes and 50 seconds down on Kloden.
"My hopes of repeating my top-10 placing of last year are well gone now," he said.
Del Potro cruises
TENNIS: Ex-US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro eased into the second round of the Indian Wells WTA tournament with a 6-4 6-0 demolition of Czech Radek Stepanek yesterday.
NBA: Miami 94 LA Lakers 88, Dallas 127 NY Knicks 109, Phoenix 97 Denver 116.