It was during the fifth stage of Paris-Nice in 1998 that Frank Vandenbroucke set the stage for his final victory. The stage got underway in Vichy and the finish was on the top of the Col de la République mountain pass. Part of the stage had to be abandoned because of heavy snowfall. Vandenbroucke did not consider attacking right from the start, but team manager Patrick Lefèvre managed to change his mind and, at the foot of the final climb, Vandenbroucke opened the throttle. The French riders Jalabert and Virenque threw in the towel. Two kilometres from the finish Vandenbroucke pushed again and the rest of the leading group had to accept the challenge. Frank Vandenbroucke won the stage and Paris-Nice a few days later, making him a strong favourite for Milan-San Remo. However, La Primavera turned out to be a huge disappointment. He got this out of his system with a win in Ghent-Wevelgem, a second place in La Flèche Wallonne and a sixth place in the Liège-Bastogne-Liège.