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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

As has become the norm, this year's edition of "The Race to the Sun" features a star-studded caste. It reads like a Who's-Who of Pro Cycling:

Astana - Fuglsang and Gavazzi,
Blanco - Gesink, Kelderman and Renshaw,
BMC - Gilbert and Van Garderen,
Cannondale - Basso and Viviani,
Cofidis - Le Mevel and Navarro,
FDJ - Bouhanni,
Garmin-Sharp - Talansky,
IAM Cycling - Haussler and Larsson,
Lampre-Merida - Scarponi and Petacchi,
Lotto Belisol - Bak,
Movistar - Costa and Rojas,
Omega Pharma-Quickstep - Boonen and Chavanel,
Orica-GreenEdge - Albasini and Gerrans,
Sky - Boasson Hagen and Porte,
Argos-Shimano - Kittel,
Europcar - Voelckler,
Saxo-Tinkoff - Breschel and Roche, and
Vacansoleil-DCM - De Gendt and Westra.

One of these men will probably be the leading man and win the trophy in the end-game.

Noticable by thier absence are all the favorites for the Tour de France.

This will be Jakob Fuglsang's first test as Team Captain at Astana during a high-profile stage race - so he will be highly motivated for a result.

My dangermen for this one are Albasini and De Gendt. No matter who wins this race, I suspect these two racers will be trying out for best supporting actor if not the top of the podium itself.

Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoliel-DCM) barely missed out on the victory last year to Wiggo (Sky) - so I'll tip him for the win this year!

P.S. Jens Voigt will attack! :thumbsup:

Complete Startlist:

Paris-Nice Start List | Cyclingnews.com

Route Map:


Stages:

Prologue - Mar 3 - Houilles - 2.9 km

Stage 1 - Mar 4 - Saint-Germain-en-Laye - Nemours - 195 km

Stage 2 - Mar 5 - Vimory - Cérilly - 200.5 km

Stage 3 - Mar 6 - Châtel-Guyon - Brioude - 170.5 km

Stage 4 - Mar 7 - Brioude - Saint-Vallier - 199.5 km

Stage 5 - Mar 8 - Châteauneuf-du-Pape - La Montagne de Lure - 176 km

Stage 6 - Mar 9 - Manosque - Nice - 220 km

Stage 7 - Mar 10 - Nice - Col d’Èze - 9.6 km

Paris-Nice 2013

Paris-Nice: The Race to the Fun! - Podium Cafe

Argos Shimano Train To Risk Everything For Kittel At Paris-Nice | Cyclingnews.com

Gesink Heads Up Blanco In Paris-Nice | Cyclingnews.com

Jakob Fuglsang: Nu lever jeg drømmen ud - Cykling

Millar: Paris-Nice Is One Of The Hardest Races Of The Year | Cyclingnews.com

Bak Is Back To Racing In Paris-Nice | Cyclingnews.com

Talansky Ready To Lead Garmin-Sharp At Paris-Nice | Cyclingnews.com

Gallery: 20 Years Of Paris-Nice | Cyclingnews.com

Gilbert Pleased With His Form As The Classics Loom | Cyclingnews.com

Porte "nervous" Ahead Of Sky Leadership Role At Paris-Nice | Cyclingnews.com

Van Garderen Seeks First Stage Race Win At Paris-Nice | Cyclingnews.com

Limited Support For Renshaw At Paris-Nice | Cyclingnews.com

Paris - Nice 2013: Preview | Cyclingnews.com

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)

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gesink or porte overall.

voeckler will try on a stage or two. interesting to see how he is this year, vampires and all.

could tj take the tt? doubt it, but it might be the one stage he goes after. something like this could go to whoever has the best acceleration. too long for a pure sprinter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Prologue

Prologue: Houilles 2.9km

Young gun Damien Gaudin (Team Europcar) pulled off a great upset victory by besting two of the lions of the time trial, Sylvain Chavanel and Lieuwe Westra by one second. Wilco Kelderman, another young gun was only two seconds behind. In a shoot-out between the veterans and the new kids on the block, the kids won this one!

1) Damien Gaudin (Team Europcar) 0:03:37

2) Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) 0:00:01

3) Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)

4) Wilco Kelderman (Team Blanco) 0:00:02

5) Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ)

Paris - Nice 2013: Prologue Results | Cyclingnews.com

Gaudin Wins Game Of Inches To Spring Surprise At Paris-Nice | Cyclingnews.com

Kelderman Shines In Paris-Nice Opener | Cyclingnews.com

Gilbert Limits Risks In Paris-Nice Prologue | Cyclingnews.com

Kittel: „Der Schlammtritt ist weg" | radsport-news.com >> Profi-Radsport

Fransk succes i Paris-Nice - Cykling

Gaudin Won Prologue With Illegal Helmet, QuickStep DS Claims | Cyclingnews.com

Gallery: Time Trial Bikes From Paris-Nice | Cyclingnews.com

Next, Paris-Nice hits the road for a more standard competeion - will it go to the old lions or the hungry youth? Here's what it looks like:

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Stage One

Saint-Germain-en-Laye - Nemours

Another of the young guns shot to victory - Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ), French Road Champion, won the sprint in Nemours and is our new race leader - taking over from overnight sensation Damian Gaudin (Team Europcar). Bouhanni bested Ale-Jet and Viviani to claim victory.

Here's the new GC line-up:

1) Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) 4:51:01

2) Damien Gaudin (Team Europcar)

3) Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) 0:00:01

4) Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM)

5) Elia Viviani (Cannondale)

Paris - Nice 2013: Stage 1 Results | Cyclingnews.com

Paris-Nice 2013 #1 : Premier succès World Tour de Bouhanni - Velochrono - Actu cyclisme, vidéos...

Bouhanni siegt und übernimmt Gelb | radsport-news.com >> Profi-Radsport

Fransk mester triumferer i Paris-Nice - Cykling

Costa Crashes Out Of Paris-Nice | Cyclingnews.com

Barguil Keen To Learn At Paris-Nice | Cyclingnews.com

Boonen: There's No Reason To Panic | Cyclingnews.com

Stage Two, Vimory to Cérilly, looks to be another gimme for the Sprinters:


I'm tipping Elia Viviani to win Stage Two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@phillippec - Great pictures, thanks for sharing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Stage Two

Vimory to Cérilly

The final kilometers were a dual between Elia Viviani (Canondale) and Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Qickstep) - Viviani came out on top by grabbing the last sprint points before the finish.

Then, at about the 15km to the finish mark, Omega Pharma-Quickstep tried to take control with Tom Boonen putting in the lead effort. But the effort would be for nought as they lost control at the end and there were a flurry of attacks in the last km.

Emerging from the choas, on the left side of the road, was Argos-Shimano's Marcel Kittel who rocketed past the others and took the win, immediatly followed by Viviani, then Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge) and Borut Bozic (Astana). Stage One winner Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) was involved in a crash - at this time, it appears he will withdraw from the race.

Paris-Nice Leader Bouhanni Crashes Out | Cyclingnews.com

Viviani's second place, plus his bonus sprint-points, were enough to put the Canondale rider in the leader's jersey.

General Classification:

1) Elia Viviani (Cannondale Pro Cycling) 10:33:11
2) Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) 0:00:07
3) Damien Gaudin (Team Europcar) 0:00:08
4) Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) 0:00:09
5) Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Merida) 0:00:10
6) Wilco Kelderman (Blanco Pro Cycling)
7) Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ)
8) Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) 0:00:11
9) Tony Gallopin (RadioShack Leopard Trek)
10) Borut Bozic (Astana)

Paris - Nice 2013: Stage 2 Results | Cyclingnews.com

Stage Three, from Châtel-Guyon to Brioude, is a bit bumpier and will give the KOM crowd something to fight for - but the hills stop well ahead of the finish allowing any sprinters who may have lost the wheel some time to re-group before the finish. Sprint-ponts will be in the offing in both Joze and Brioud, so look for our race leader to attack hard for these in order to build his cushion against the time-trialists Chavanel and Westra.

Stage Three Profile:


Stage Three Map:

 

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Wow, that Bouhanni crash was nasty - face plant :yikes:. I was thinking that I'm very happy that I am blessed with unusually fast reflexes and then I got up last night and slipped on a tile floor and banged up my left foot :lol:

Looked to me like Renshaw was tuckered out from a day with headwinds, he seemed to be be in good position and then was gone (maybe he got boxed out and I missed it). And was Kittel ever in it for the sprint?

Thanks for the updates guys!
 

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And was Kittel ever in it for the sprint?
Brutal stage today. The guys earned their pay.

Fwiw, when the main group split up I thought Kittel got caught out and had to chase back with the second group. It appeared the guys burned a lot of matches during the chase.
 

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Great pics, philippec! Shouldn't it be a holiday when there's a pro race in the area?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Stage Three

Châtel-Guyon - Brioude

Best Young Rider Andrew Talansky sprinted away from his mates in a breakaway to take the victory in Stage Three of Paris-Nice - in the process he took the leader's jersey and helped reschuffle the GC:

1) Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) 14:39:36

2) Andriy Grivko (Astana) 0:00:03

3) Davide Malacarne (Team Europcar)

4) Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) 0:00:04

5) Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 0:00:05

6) Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) 0:00:06

7) Richie Porte (Sky Procycling) 0:00:07

8) Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) 0:00:08

9) David Lopez Garcia (Sky Procycling) 0:00:09

10) Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun) 0:00:12

Note the line-up of time-trial specialists such as Chavanel, Westra and Porte no more than seven seconds behind the leader. The stage is set for a final episode featuring a victory determined by whomever wins the ultimate race against the clock on the Col d’Èze.

Overnight leader Elia Viviani (Astana) has fallen to lucky 13th on the Young Riders classification and 59th on GC conceeding almost three minute to Talansky - whatever slim hopes he may have held of carrying the yellow jersey to the time trial have been catagorically dashed.

Paris - Nice 2013: Stage 3 Results | Cyclingnews.com

De Gendt Crashes Out Of GC Contention At Paris - Nice | Cyclingnews.com

Looking forward to Stage Four, Brioude - Saint-Vallier, 199.5 km:

A brief scan of the top ten of the General Classification reveals that this remains a race of seconds and one can be confident that whomever wins Stage Four will wear the yellow jersey next as no one rider or team seems capable (or willing) to attempt to hold on to it.

Stage Four, while not the longest, features a great deal of climbing and decending - so look for the specialist climbers to come out to play. The stage kicks off immediatly with a Catagory Two climb up the Cote de Lachaud and then treats the riders to six more Catagory Two and Three climbs before ending in what's likely to be a blistering downhill charge into Saint-Vallier. If a good climber or all-rounder can get into a late break with strong partners - and then lose them in the final decsent - victory could be thiers.

I'm tipping Thomas De Gendt (Vacanssoleil-DCM) to come out of hiding and deliver the shocker - keeping a wary eye on Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) who might be tempted to launch as well.

 

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Stage Four, while not the longest, features a great deal of climbing and decending - so look for the specialist climbers to come out to play. The stage kicks off immediatly with a Catagory Two climb up the Cote de Lachaud and then treats the riders to six more Catagory Two and Three climbs before ending in what's likely to be a blistering downhill charge into Saint-Vallier. If a good climber or all-rounder can get into a late break with strong partners - and then lose them in the final decsent - victory could be thiers.

It's funny. if the same profile was shown in july no one would talk about a climbers stage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
It's funny. if the same profile was shown in july no one would talk about a climbers stage.
Indeed. And Stage Five promises more of the same (if not quite as challenging).

Stage 6 features the Col de Ferrier which should give the climbers a last chance to shine.

Stage Seven's "climb" from Nice to the Col d’Èze is only a 469m gain in elevation, but as an uphill time trial should be a nice challenge anyway.
 

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Stoked to see a local boy make good today. Allez Talansky!
 

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Note the line-up of time-trial specialists such as Chavanel, Westra and Porte no more than seven seconds behind the leader. The stage is set for a final episode featuring a victory determined by whomever wins the ultimate race against the clock on the Col d’Èze.
It should be noted that Talansky is no slouch when it comes to the TTs either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Stage Four

Brioude - Saint-Vallier

Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) won the stage, but Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) held on to his advantage and retains the leader's jersey.

Muiltiple attacks were launched by a number of riders including the indominatable Thomas Voelckler (Europcar) and the resurgent Stephan Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff), but the lead group, which included Talansky, effeciently brought them all back until the end; when Albasini hit the afterburners and no-one had enough gas in the tank to pull him back.

Here's the current General Classification:

1) Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) 19:35:17

2) Andriy Grivko (Astana) 0:00:03

3) Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) 0:00:04

4) Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)

5) Gorka Izaguirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 0:00:05

6) Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) 0:00:06

7) Richie Porte (Sky Procycling) 0:00:07

8) Maxim Iglinskiy (Astana) 0:00:13

9) Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R La Mondiale)

10) Bart De Clercq (Lotto Belisol) 0:00:15

Paris - Nice 2013: Stage 4 Results | Cyclingnews.com

Albasini Surprised By Paris - Nice Win | Cyclingnews.com

Stage Five: Châteauneuf-du-Pape to La Montagne de Lure

Just the name Châteauneuf-du-Pape brings to mind a fairly passable bottle of wine - pity the racers cannot adequatly sample the produce of this region this evening as Stage Five ends with a killer up-hill finish.

Normally I would tip J-Rod to take this one - but he's at Tirreno-Adriatico and otherwise engaged. If De Gendt is in good health after his crash - I'd expect him to take a Lone Ranger style flyer and snatch this stage. Barring that, I'm going to go out on a limb and tip Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil of Movistar to win atop La Montagne de Lure.

Porte And Sky Expecting Big Fight On Montagne De Lure | Cyclingnews.com

Talansky Can Win On La Montagne De Lure, Says Van Bondt | Cyclingnews.com

 
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