Team of the week: Sergio Henao, Peter Sagan, Nairo Quintana, and more

Our pick of the best riders from the last week of racing

Leader: Sergio Henao (Sky)

Sergio Henao celebrates on the podium after winning Paris-Nice (Credit: Yuzuru Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Sergio Henao became Team Sky’s fifth winner of Paris-Nice in six years not through spectacular racing, but by limiting his losses most effectively across all disciples.

>>> Sergio Henao draws inspiration from GeraintThomas for Paris-Nice fightback

He didn’t get caught out by the crosswinds, rode solidly in the time-trial and on the Col de la Couillole, and battled for dear life in the final stage without panicking to just about survive Alberto Contador’s onslaught.

Overall it was an impressively authoritative performance from a rider who doesn’t often get to ride as a leader.

Road Captain: Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)

Alberto Contador on the attack on the final stage of Paris-Nice 2017 (Credit: Yuzuru Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

When Contador goes on one of his trademark long-range attacks, as he did on the final stage of Paris-Nice, there’s always method in the madness; brains as well as guts.

It may have resembled a kamikaze move when he attacked 52km from the finish, but the way the seasoned pro built and sustained a lead even while riding alone at the front suggested he had distributed his strength expertly - he was unlucky to fall just seconds short of winning the overall.

Climber: Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

Nairo Quintana celebrates winning stage four of Tirreno-Adriatico 2017 (Credit: Yuzuru Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

There was an air of déjà vu about the way Quintana simply rode away from the rest of the competition on the Terminillo on Saturday, in as nonchalant a manner as he did two years ago on the same climb - albeit in mind sunshine this time rather than a snowstorm.

Sprinter: Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)

Peter Sagan sprints to victory on stage five of Tirreno-Adriatico 2017 (Credit: Yuzuru Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

The four bunch sprints in Paris-Nice were shared around four different riders, but one man was head and shoulders above the rest at Tirreno-Adriatico.

>>> Peter Sagan: 'I thought this Tirreno stage was too hard for me'

Peter Sagan’s unparalleled versatility was on display as he first won a bunch dash against the pure sprinters, then an uphill slog-sprint against the climbers.

Rouleur: Amalie Dideriksen (Boels-Dolmans)

World champion Amalie Dideriksen on the podium (Credit: Yuzuru Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

With five of their star riders left in the whittled-down peloton of fifteen, the key question at Ronde van Drenthe seemed to be not if but which Boels Dolmans rider would win.

Ultimately it was Dideriksen who got into the decisive selection of four, and, with the same finishing kick that saw her win last year’s World Championship road race, she out-sprinted the others to win her first ever classic at the age of just 20.

Time Triallist: Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors)

Julian Alaphilippe on his way to time trial victory at Paris-Nice (Credit: Yuzuru Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

An uphill finish ensured that Paris-Nice’s time-trial was one for the puncheurs and climbers rather than the usual heavyweights, but it was still a surprise to see just how thoroughly Alaphilippe decimated the rest of the field.

We can now add time-trialing to his growing list of talents, although not yet climbing over seriously long mountains - he went on to lose his overall lead on the Col de la Couillole.

Domestique: Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo)

Jarlinson Pantano decimates the group on the Col de la Couillole (Credit: Yuzuru Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Trek-Segafredo appear to have hit the jackpot with new signing Pantano. First, on the Col de la Couillole he put on a monster turn at the front of the peloton to drop most of the field and set up a Contador attack; then his searing acceleration the following day ensured that neither Henao nor Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) could latch onto Contador’s long-range attack.

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Stephen Puddicombe is a freelance journalist for Cycling Weekly, who regularly contributes to our World Tour racing coverage with race reports, news stories, interviews and features. Outside of cycling, he also enjoys writing about film and TV - but you won't find much of that content embedded into his CW articles.