Colombia's Sergio Henao lifted his troubled Sky team's spirits with a dramatic two-second success over Alberto Contador in the Paris-Nice cycle race on Sunday.

Henao set up the win when grabbing a half-minute lead in the 'Race to the Sun' with fourth in Saturday's penultimate stage.

But the 29-year-old only scraped home in the face of a determined challenge from Contador.

The Spaniard, placed third at 31sec at the start of the day, took second in the closing eighth stage behind his fellow countryman David de la Cruz.

Stage success for De la Cruz (Quick Step) denied Contador 10 precious bonus seconds which would have seen him and not Henao take overall victory.

"It was a crazy day," beamed Henao.

"This is the biggest win of my career, I hope it means more will follow.

"I've had some tough times in my life, but today the sun came out for me."

For Contador it was a cruel near miss coming after he had been edged out by just four seconds by Geraint Thomas 12 months ago.


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"I only missed out by by a tiny bit, it's a shame," he said.

"I'm very proud of what I did and I'm satisfied despite finishing second."

Ireland's Dan Martin completed the final podium, half a minute behind Henao who became the second Colombian to win the race after Carlos Betancur in 2014.

Team Sky have won five of the past six editions courtesy of Bradley Wiggins (2012), Richie Porte (2013, 2015), Thomas (2016) and Henao.

The British team have been hit by doping and sexism rows in recent weeks, their reputation taking a battering as a result.

Henao had said he hoped to see out the win for beleaguered team chief Dave Brailsford.

STAGE 8 RESULTS

1. David De La Cruz Melgarejo ( ESP / QST ) 2:48:53
2. Alberto Contador Velasco ( ESP / TFS ) +0
3. Marc Soler Gimenez ( ESP / MOV ) +5
4. Sonny Colbrelli ( ITA / TBM ) +21
5. Julian Alaphilippe ( FRA / QST ) +21
6. Michael Matthews ( AUS / SUN ) +21
7. Diego Ulissi ( ITA / UAD ) +21
8. Gorka Izagirre Insausti ( ESP / MOV ) +21
9. Arnold Jeannesson ( FRA / FVC ) +21
10. Lilian Calmejane ( FRA / DEN ) +21
11. Nicolas Edet ( FRA / COF ) +21
12. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya ( COL / SKY ) +21
13. Daniel Martin ( IRL / QST ) +21
14. Ilnur Zakarin ( RUS / KAT ) +21
15. Simon Yates ( GBR / ORS ) +21
16. Jakob Fuglsang ( DEN / AST ) +21
17. Warren Barguil ( FRA / SUN ) +21
18. Richie Porte ( AUS / BMC ) +21
19. Jon Izaguirre Insausti ( ESP / TBM ) +21
20. Jarlinson Pantano Gomez ( COL / TFS ) +21
30. Serge Pauwels ( BEL / DDD ) +2:54
69. Kristian Sbaragli ( ITA / DDD ) +12:15
93. Benjamin King ( USA / DDD ) +16:37
123. Youcef Reguigui ( ALG / DDD ) +20:56
127. Natnael Berhane ( ERI / DDD ) +20:56
DNF. Tyler Farrar ( USA / DDD )

OVERALL CLASSIFICATIONS

1. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya ( COL / SKY ) 29:50:29
2. Alberto Contador Velasco ( ESP / TFS ) +2
3. Daniel Martin ( IRL / QST ) +30
4. Gorka Izagirre Insausti ( ESP / MOV ) +1:00
5. Julian Alaphilippe ( FRA / QST ) +1:22
6. Ilnur Zakarin ( RUS / KAT ) +1:34
7. Jon Izaguirre Insausti ( ESP / TBM ) +1:41
8. Warren Barguil ( FRA / SUN ) +4:07
9. Simon Yates ( GBR / ORS ) +4:39
10. Tony Gallopin ( FRA / LTS ) +9:14
11. Richie Porte ( AUS / BMC ) +14:26
12. Jakob Fuglsang ( DEN / AST ) +18:07
13. Philippe Gilbert ( BEL / QST ) +19:33
14. Sam Oomen ( NED / SUN ) +20:08
15. Romain Hardy ( FRA / FVC ) +20:25
16. Rudy Molard ( FRA / FDJ ) +20:53
17. Jarlinson Pantano Gomez ( COL / TFS ) +25:07
18. Nicholas Roche ( IRL / BMC ) +30:49
19. Oliver Naesen ( BEL / ALM ) +31:55
20. Mauro Finetto ( ITA / DMP ) +33:25
57. Serge Pauwels ( BEL / DDD ) +1:06:47
75. Kristian Sbaragli ( ITA / DDD ) +1:15:39
100. Natnael Berhane ( ERI / DDD ) +1:30:43
105. Benjamin King ( USA / DDD ) +1:31:47
126. Youcef Reguigui ( ALG / DDD ) +1:51:58
DNF. Tyler Farrar ( USA / DDD )
Omar Fraile Matarranz ( ESP / DDD )
Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg ( RSA / DDD )