Now Sunday, third March starts in Les Mureaux the 82nd edition of Paris - Nice, with Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic as the big favorites on the overall victory. The race to the sun ends on March 12 on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The course is not really sprinters friendly this year, as there are only two stages where they might be partying. A total of 30 cataloged cols over a total distance of 1219 km are on the menu. There is also another team time trial (stage 3) which, like last year, will clock the times of the riders individually.

Remco Evenepoel will soon ride Paris-Nice for the first time and it will even be his first stage race that he will contest on French soil. On the other hand, the battle with Roglic is nothing new under the sun, as the two top riders have met before in the Vuelta and the Tour of Catalonia. At Soudal-Quick Step, Evenepoel will have his compatriots Yves Lampaert, Ilan Van Wilder and Louis Vervaeke in support, the team is further complemented by Italians Mattia Cattaneo and Gianni Moscon and Dane Casper Pedersen.

Roglic includes luxury helpers Bob Jungels, Aleksandr Vlasov and Marco Haller in his squad.

The course

“The first two days will be demanding: they are very technical, with a lot of street furniture. It will be a matter of getting through there without problems.” Thus Klaas Lodewyck team manager at Soudal-Quick Step.

Stage 1

The first stage involves hilly roads with start and finish in Les Mureaux. The riders handle four hills that count toward the mountain classification. The last one is twelve kilometers from the finish and it will depend on the attacking spirit in the peloton whether the sprinters will still be on board to sprint for the stage win.

Stage 2

In the second stage the riders cycle from Thoiry to Montargis. Here, a bunch sprint is the most likely outcome. Or will fan formation kill the chances of the sprinters here as well?

Stage 3 – team time trial

Paris-Nice tackles the third stage with a team time trial of 26.9 kilometers, with relief as there are two small climbs in the course. The organization continues on the path taken last year. The novelty that was successfully introduced then will be continued. Thus, the times of the first rider will count for stage wins, but all individual times will also count for the final classification. If a rider is dropped, that time will also be added to the general classification. In addition, the time limit also remains in effect and riders who are dropped will have to keep riding to get in on time.

Stage 4

Today will be over an Ardennes course and the classification riders will get their first crack at it. After six hills along the way, the finish is at Mont Brouilly. This climb goes over three kilometers at 7.7% average to the finish line. The final kilometer at 9.3% and with peaks of up to 25% may trigger a second selection among the classification men after the team time trial.

Stage 5

In stage five there is another chance for the sprinters, but also just as much chance for the men of the long flight.  The course is initially very hilly which sharply increases the chances for the men of the long haul. In the final 50 kilometers, however, it is almost exclusively flat or downhill. Will the sprinters’ teams get organized in time or will they be too late?

Stage 6

Today the longest stage of this Paris-Nice is on the program. Over almost 200 kilometers and five climbs, it’s off to the finish where an ascending final kilometer at just over 4% awaits them.


Stage 7

This is the Queen stage where the difference could be made between the favorites. The stage goes from Nice to the winter sports village of Auron. On the way, it goes over the Col de Saint-Martin before war will be made on the final climb. In 7.3 kilometers with an average of 7.2% the riders will ride to the finish line. This stage is immediately a good reconnaissance for the Tour de France participants, as it goes for a good part on the roads of the 20th Tour stage.

Stage 8

Fully in line with the tradition of the race to the sun, in the final stage from Nice the peloton once again heads inland. Over five climbs – three second and two first category – the stage race ends with a nine-kilometer descent to the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. But in addition to these five climbs, the short side of the col d’Eze is not included as a cataloged climb. We think that just there on the short 13% steep section, most of the devil will be in this ride.


In this Paris-Nice we see the first clash between Evenepoel and Roglic of this season. With David Gaudu – last year’s runner-up with 53″ behind Tadej Pogacar -, João Almeida, Carlos Rodriguez, Mattias Skjelmose, Pello Bilbao, Santiago Buitrago, Rigoberto Uran, Jay Vine, Felix Gall and Sam Bennett, there are enough classification riders to give the two favorites a run for their money. With Arnaud De Lie, Gerben Thijssen, Arnaud Démare, Kaden Groves, Mads Pedersen, Pascal Ackermann, Matteo Trentin, Olav Kooij, Dylan Groenewegen, Danny van Poppel and Fabio Jakobsen, the sprinters’ guild also has an extensive presence.

Start list subject to change:

Visma | Lease a Bike
Olav Kooij, Wilco Kelderman, Matteo Jorgenson, Koen Bouwman, Edoardo Affini, Mick van Dijke, Tim van Dijke

Alpecin – Deceuninck
Kaden Groves, Søren Kragh Andersen, Maurice Ballerstedt, Silvan Dillier, Jason Osborne, Edward Planckaert, Robbe Ghys

Intermarché – Wanty
Lilian Calmejane, Gerben Thijssen, Roel van Sintmaartensdijk, Georg Zimmermann, Adrien Petit, Dries De Bondt, Madis Mihkels

Soudal – QuickStep
Remco Evenepoel, Ilan Van Wilder, Louis Vervaeke, Yves Lampaert, Gianni Moscon, Mattia Cattaneo, Casper Pedersen

Team dsm-firmenich PostNL
Fabio Jakobsen, Nils Eekhoff, Julius van den Berg, Tobias Lund Andresen, Gijs Leemreize, Timo Roosen, Martijn Tusveld

Arkéa B&B Hotels
Arnaud Démare, Clément Champoussin, Miles Scotson, Thibault Guernalec, Daniel McLay, Łukasz Owsian, Florian Sénéchal

Astana Qazaqstan Team
Alexey Loetsenko, Rüdiger Selig, Anthon Charmig, Christian Scaroni, Samuele Battistella, Max Kanter, Harold Tejada

Bahrain Victorious
Pello Bilbao, Jack Haig, Santiago Buitrago, Fred Wright, Jasha Sütterlin, Kamil Gradek, Dušan Rajovic

BORA – hansgrohe
Primoz Roglic, Bob Jungels, Aleksandr Vlasov, Marco Haller, Danny van Poppel, Matteo Sobrero, Nico Denz

Ion Izagirre, Gorka Izagrre, Guillaume Martin, Bryan Coquard, Alexis Renard, Alexis Gougard, Anthony Perez

Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale
Felix Gall, Sam Bennett, Oliver Naesen, Aurélien Paret-Peintre, Dorian Godon, Bruno Armirail, Dries De Bondt

EF Education – EasyPost
Stefan Bissegger, Rigoberto Uran, Michael Valgren, Marijn van den Berg, Owain Doull, Jack Rootkin-Gray, Jonas Rutsch

Primoz Roglic © Foto via BORA hansgrohe

Groupama – FDJ
David Gaudu, Sven Erik Bystrøm, Laurence Pithie, Kevin Geniets, Clément Russo, Samuel Watson, Quentin Pacher

INEOS Grenadiers
Carlos Rodriguez, Laurens De Plus, Jonathan Castroviejo, Luke Rowe, Joshua Tarling, Omar Fraile, Ben Turner

Lidl – Trek
Mads Pedersen, Mattias Skjelmose, Bauke Mollema, Jasper Stuyven, Alex Kirsch, Tim De Clercq, Ryan Gibbons

Oier Lazkano, Will Barta, Mathias Norsgaard, Rémi Cavagna, Alex Aranburu, Ruben Guerreiro, Johan Jacobs

Team Jayco AlUla
Dylan Groenewegen, Michael Matthews, Luke Plapp, Luke Durbridge, Chris Harper, Elmar Reinders, Luka Mezgec

UAE Emirates
João Almeida, Marc Soler, Jay Vine, Brandon McNulty, Pavel Sivakov, Felix Großschartner, Finn Fisher-Black, Nils Politt

Israel – Premier Tech
Pascal Ackermann, Jakob Fuglsang, Hugo Hofstetter, Guillaume Boivin, Hugo Houle, Michael Schwarzmann, Rick Zabel

Lotto Dstny
Arnaud De Lie, Brent Van Moer, Victor Campanaerts, Cedric Beullens, Jasper De Buyst, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Mathijs Paasschens

Pierre Latour, Anthony Turgis, Steff Cras, Dries Van Gestel, Mathieu Burgaudeau, Sandy Dujardin, Jordan Jegat

Matteo Trentin, Michael Storer, Arvid De Kleijn, Arthur Kluckers, Rick Pluimers, Yannis Voisard, Maikel Zijlaard

Text and Fotos of Evenepoel: Patrick Van Gansen


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