Paris-Nice Overview

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Paris Nice 2013

Paris-Nice leaves the French capital for the Mediterranean coast and its sunshine. Along the way there’s a variety of terrain including the high mountains. A mini Tour de France in March. A fine race it its own right, the daily battles also give us a clue to the form of riders ahead of the classics.

Here’s an overview for the whole race. There’s a concise preview of every stage with my take on the day plus plenty of other information on the prizes, jerseys, TV schedules and more.

In addition, on the morning of every stage you’ll find a separate blog posting with updates and information called “The Spin”. This daily preview will be updated to reflect current news and also includes detailed information on the route, the kind of precision normally reserved for a team briefing.

The pre-prologue Spin on Saturday will cover the overall contenders as well as the prologue but for now note we should see a battle between Robert Gesink, Tejay van Garderen, Jacob Fuglsang, J-C Péraud, Andrew Talansky, Andreas Klöden, Nicolas Roche, Dennis Menchov and Richie Porte for the overall with others to consider plus a good mix for the sprints and hilly stages with the likes of Philippe Gilbert, Tom Boonen, Rein Taaramae, Michael Matthews and Thomas de Gendt already names to think about. If many big names will be in Italy for Tirreno Adriatico there’s still a good field here.

Prologue | Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4 | Stage 5 | Stage 6 | Stage 7 |

Rider list | The jerseys, points and prizes | The unmissable stages | TV schedule

This is a blog post but there’s a permanent page at inrng.com/paris-nice which can be easily reached during the race via the navigation bar at the top of the page.

Paris Nice banner

Paris-Nice 2013 route map


Prologue – Sunday 3 March
Paris Nice Stage 1
A suburban start with the prologue taking place in a built-up area west of Paris on land caught in a meander of the Seine river. The route is flat, there is a drag up towards the halfway point but the height gained is small, a railway bridge near the finish provides more elevation. Riders will still need to get their gearing right for there are 10 corners in the space of three kilometres. This is a curious course held on small roads complete with raised speed bumps and sunken inspection covers that flies past indifferent looking houses, cafés and blocks of flats. It’s a time trial but will suit the prologue specialists and watch for the sprinters who can master the sprint-brake-corner-sprint routine.

Houilles should be famous for Victor Schoelcher because he is the man who helped abolish slavery in France. Celebrated in France’s colonies today he’s more a forgotten figure on the mainland.


Stage 1 – Monday 4 March
Paris Nice Stage 1
A day for the sprinters as the race heads south of Paris via commuter towns to the flat lands where wheat is grown as far as the eye can see to provide the flour needed for the 10 billion baguettes consumed in France each year. Somehow they’ve found a climb with a road that rises at 4% for 500m. The region is flat but the race has to award a mountains jersey so this will do.

This looks like a day for the sprinters but note two things. First there are time bonuses which creates added incentives for the intermediate sprint and the finish but also the finish in Nemours is after a circuit, the race will enter Nemours and then leave for a 47km loop which means if the wind is blowing then at some point there will be crosswinds.


Stage 2 – Tuesday 5 March
Paris Nice Stage 2
Another day for the sprinters but again a circuit finish at the end could split things if the wind is blowing. The race passes through Gien, the home of Pierre Rolland, proof that mountain stage winners can live in the flat lands. The final straight is worth a mention being four kilometres long.


Stage 3 – Wednesday 6 March
Paris Nice Stage 3
Another circuit finish at the end of this stage which crosses the rural Auvergne region and its extinct volcanoes. There’s a sprint on the finish line before the race heads out for some more climbing before descending back to Brioude, the hometown of Ag2r’s Romain Bardet.

This looks like a stage where a reduced bunch will contest the finish with riders attacking and teams setting the pace to eliminate the sprinters before the flat finish.


Stage 4 – Thursday 7 March
Paris Nice Stage 4
Seven climbs on the day make this an important stage but perhaps one where the overall contenders play it safe and let a breakaway go away. Easier said than done as half the teams will want to place a rider in the early move on roads which climb from the start, if the breakaway chemistry isn’t right then the race could be very fast for the first hour. The finish is downhill with a sharp bend 500 metres from the line.


Stage 5 – Friday 8 March
Paris Nice Stage 5
The Queen Stage of the 2013 Paris-Nice with the high altitude finish on the Montagne de Lure. The Lure is the smaller sister of Mont Ventoux and 13.8km at a gradient of 6.6%, flattered by a softer section in the middle before the final four kilometres rise at over 7% to the line. For sure it’s not the Stelvio, Galibier or Ventoux but it’s March and 1,600m is plenty. Generally this is a steady ascension to reward the climbers but where overall contenders can pace themselves to limit the losses.

The mountain should dominate the stage in the way it dominates the landscapes as teams will look to set a pace for their protected riders. Expect a showdown here and remember the pure climbers need to take time ahead of the final time trial. When the race visited in 2009 Alberto Contador won.


Stage 6 – Saturday 9 March
Paris Nice Stage 6
Fine scenery lies ahead as the race heads for Nice and the training roads of a sizeable proportion of the bunch especially in the hills behind Grasse with the Col du Ferrier. These are tricky roads and it can be hard to control the race but the run to Nice gets easier and can suit a chase. Often a group of 20-30 riders can come in for the finish.


Stage 7 – Sunday 10 March
Paris Nice Stage 7
The historic Col d’Eze time trial is here again, a fixture in the race since the 1970s, it disappeared in the last decade but returned last year where Wiggins and Westra battled with the Brit pacing himself to win the race overall. It’s a tough effort and much harder than the mere nine kilometres suggests. It’s suited to specialists able to pace themselves on the ever-changing gradients. Normally the weather is fine but if otherwise it gets even harder with the crosswind from the sea making it even harder.


The Jerseys, Points and Prizes
Paris Nice jerseys
There are four jerseys and they are similar to the Tour de France. In years past Paris-Nice awarded a white jersey to the leader but Tour de France organisers ASO have taken over the race and imposed their distinctive branding.

The yellow jersey is the overall leader, the rider with the shortest cumulative time for all stages. Note time bonuses available in this race at the finish line or intermediate sprints, 10 – 6 – 4 seconds and 3 – 2 – 1 seconds respectively. It is sponsored by LCL, a French bank. The overall winner collects €16,000.

The green jersey is the points jersey. There are points for the first 20 on every stage (25 – 22 – 20 – 18 – 16 – 15 – 14 – 13 – 12 – 11 – 10 – 9 – 8 -7 – 6 -5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1) and intermediate sprints (3 – 2 – 1). The competition is sponsored by PMU, a new sponsor for 2013 for Paris-Nice but the long time name on the Tour de France green jersey. It is the state-owned gambling operation. The holder after the final stage wins €2,000.

The polka dot jersey is for the best climber. Note the race has three categories of climb, unlike the Tour de France with its five labels. Third category climbs have 4 – 2 – 1 points for the first three; second category climbs have 7 – 5 – 3 – 2 – 1 points for the first five and first category climbs offer 10 – 8 – 6 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 for the first seven. Sponsored by Alden, which makes satellite TV accessories. The holder after the final stage wins €2,000.

The white jersey is for the best young rider, defined as those born after 1 January 1988. It is sponsored by Bürstner who make camping cars.

Stage wins earn €4,000 with cash down to 20th place.


The unmissable stages
Nobody knows what the race will bring and one of the features of Paris-Nice is the way the wind can ravage the peloton on the flat stages to make for a technical and tactical finish on a day when you’d just expect a sprint finish plus the hilly stages promise actionn and breakaways. So look for the daily “Spin” previews on here for tips on the weather.

  • Stage 1 will show us how the sprint trains are working
  • Stage 3 has a tricky finish, worth watching in its own right but we might get some clues about rider form for Milan-Sanremo
  • Stage 5 is the unmissable summit finish
  • Stage 7 is a time trial and these often don’t make for great TV but we had suspense right until the end last year


Wiggins Paris NiceTV coverage
There’s daily coverage from French TV and Eurosport International and more. The following channels will have live coverage:

  • Belgium (RTBF, VRT), Denmark (DKTV2), Spain (Teledeporte), Italy (Rai), Luxembourg (RTL), Norway (TV2), Netherlands (NOS), Switzerland (RTS/RSI), Africa (SuperSport), Japan (J Sports), New Zealand (Sky TV), Latin America (TDN), USA (NBC)
  • Whilst Ireland (TG4), Czech (CT4), Britain (ITV4), Latin America (DirecTV, ESPN Inter, ESPN Brasil), Australia (SBS), Canada (RDS), Middle-East (Dubai Sports), USA/Canada (NBC Sports) are all promising highlights packages.

Depending on where you live you can pay for Eurosport’s video content via the Eurosport Player or you can find a pirate video stream via sites like cyclingfans.com or steephill.tv. Either way there is plenty of airtime and here is the French TV schedule with local Euro CET time which indicates when there will be live video.

  • Sunday 3 March: 3.20 – 4.55pm
  • Monday 4 March: 2.55 – 4.10pm
  • Tuesday 5 March: 2.55 – 4.10pm
  • Wednesday 6 March: 2.55 – 4.10pm
  • Thursday 7 March: 2.55 – 4.10pm
  • Friday 8 March: 2.55 – 4.10pm
  • Saturday 9 March: 3.25 – 4.50pm
  • Sunday 10 March: 3.20 – 4.55pm

Talking of TV and timings, look out for the new motorbike on the race that will replace the old blackboard system used to give riders the time gaps and composition of breakaways.


Rider list

SKY PROCYCLING
SKY GBR
1 Richie PORTE
2 Ian BOSWELL
3 Vasili KIRYIENKA
4 David LOPEZ GARCIA
5 Danny PATE
6 Kanstantsin SIUTSOV
7 Jonathan TIERNAN LOCKE
8 Xabier ZANDIO

VACANSOLEIL-DCM
VCD NED
11 Lieuwe WESTRA
12 Kris BOECKMANS
13 Thomas DE GENDT
14 Romain FEILLU
15 Martijn KEIZER
16 Bjorn LEUKEMANS
17 Bertjan LINDEMAN
18 Frederik VEUCHELEN

MOVISTAR TEAM
MOV ESP
21 Rui Alberto COSTA
22 Imanol ERVITI
23 José Ivan GUTIERREZ
24 Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ
25 Javier MORENO
26 Ruben PLAZA MOLINA
27 Nairo Alexander QUINTANA ROJAS
28 Jose Joaquin ROJAS

BLANCO PRO CYCLING TEAM
BLA NED
31 Robert GESINK
32 Stef CLEMENT
33 Rick FLENS
34 Wilco KELDERMAN
35 Steven KRUIJSWIJK
36 Mark RENSHAW
37 David TANNER
38 Maarten TJALLINGII

EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI
EUS ESP
41 Mikel ASTARLOZA
42 Ion IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI
43 Gorka IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI
44 Jure KOCJAN
45 Mikel NIEVE ITURRALDE
46 Ruben PEREZ MORENO
47 Romain SICARD
48 Gorka VERDUGO

RADIOSHACK LEOPARD
RLT LUX
51 Maxime MONFORT
52 Laurent DIDIER
53 Tony GALLOPIN
54 Markel IRIZAR
55 Robert KISERLOVSKI
56 Andréas KLÖDEN
57 Gregory RAST
58 Jens VOIGT

LAMPRE – MERIDA
LAM ITA
61 Diego ULISSI
62 Mattia CATTANEO
63 Kristijan DURASEK
64 Elia FAVILLI
65 Manuele MORI
66 Andrea Francesco PALINI
67 Alessandro PETACCHI
68 Michele SCARPONI

LOTTO-BELISOL
LTB BEL
71 Lars Ytting BAK
72 Dirk BELLEMAKERS
73 Gaëtan BILLE
74 Bart DE CLERCQ
75 Francis DE GREEF
76 Jens DEBUSSCHERE
77 Dennis VANENDERT
78 Frederik WILLEMS

ORICA GREENEDGE
OGE AUS
81 Simon GERRANS
82 Michael ALBASINI
83 Fumiyuki BEPPU
84 Simon CLARKE
85 Baden COOKE
86 Leigh HOWARD
87 Jens KEUKELEIRE
88 Michael MATTHEWS

FDJ
FDJ FRA
91 Nacer BOUHANNI
92 William BONNET
93 Pierrick FEDRIGO
94 Alexandre GENIEZ
95 Arnold JEANNESSON
96 Yoann OFFREDO
97 Jérémy ROY
98 Geoffrey SOUPE

BMC RACING TEAM
BMC USA
101 Philippe GILBERT
102 Brent BOOKWALTER
103 Mathias FRANK
104 Amaël MOINARD
105 Dominik NERZ
106 Daniel OSS
107 Ivan SANTAROMITA
108 Tejay VAN GARDEREN

AG2R LA MONDIALE
ALM FRA
111 Jean-Christophe PERAUD
112 Romain BARDET
113 Guillaume BONNAFOND
114 Maxime BOUET
115 Samuel DUMOULIN
116 Hubert DUPONT
117 Yauheni HUTAROVICH
118 Sébastien MINARD

TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF
TST DEN
121 Nicolas ROCHE
122 Matti BRESCHEL
123 Mads CHRISTENSEN
124 Anders LUND
125 Michael MORKOV
126 Evgeni PETROV
127 Nicki SORENSEN
128 Rory SUTHERLAND

SOJASUN
SOJ FRA
131 Jonathan HIVERT
132 Julien EL FARES
133 Cyril LEMOINE
134 Rémi PAURIOL
135 Julien SIMON
136 Evaldas SISKEVICIUS
137 Yannick TALABARDON
138 Alexis VUILLERMOZ

GARMIN – SHARP
GRS USA
141 Andrew TALANSKY
142 Jack BAUER
143 Alex HOWES
144 Andreas KLIER
145 David MILLAR
146 Jacob RATHE
147 Johan VAN SUMMEREN
148 Fabian WEGMANN

ASTANA PRO TEAM
AST KAZ
151 Jakob FUGLSANG
152 Borut BOZIC
153 Enrico GASPAROTTO
154 Andriy GRIVKO
155 Maxim IGLINSKIY
156 Kevin SEELDRAYERS
157 Egor SILIN
158 Andrey ZEITS

TEAM EUROPCAR
EUC FRA
161 Thomas VOECKLER
162 Jérome COUSIN
163 Damien GAUDIN
164 Vincent JEROME
165 Davide MALACARNE
166 Alexandre PICHOT
167 Angelo TULIK
168 Sébastien TURGOT

OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP
OPQ BEL
171 Sylvain CHAVANEL
172 Tom BOONEN
173 Kevin DE WEERT
174 Nikolas MAES
175 Gianni MEERSMAN
176 Jérôme PINEAU
177 Stijn VANDENBERGH
178 Peter VELITS

KATUSHA TEAM
KAT RUS
181 Simon SPILAK
182 Xavier FLORENCIO CABRE
183 Alexander KRISTOFF
184 Alberto LOSADA ALGUACIL
185 Denis MENCHOV
186 Gatis SMUKULIS
187 Yury TROFIMOV
188 Eduard VORGANOV

COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
COF FRA
191 Rein TAARAMAE
192 Jérôme COPPEL
193 Egoitz GARCIA ECHEGUIBEL
194 Christophe LE MEVEL
195 Romain LEMARCHAND
196 Luis Angel MATE MARDONES
197 Daniel NAVARRO
198 Romain ZINGLE

CANNONDALE
CAN ITA
201 Ivan BASSO
202 Mauro DA DALTO
203 Alessandro DE MARCHI
204 Lucas Sebastian HAEDO
205 Edward KING
206 Paolo LONGO BORGHINI
207 Daniele RATTO
208 Elia VIVIANI

TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO
ARG NED
211 Marcel KITTEL
212 Warren BARGUIL
213 Roy CURVERS
214 Bert DE BACKER
215 Yann HUGUET
216 Thierry HUPOND
217 Tom STAMSNIJDER
218 Tom VEELERS

IAM CYCLING
IAM SUI
221 Thomas LÖVKVIST
222 Marco BANDIERA
223 Stephan DENIFL
224 Martin ELMIGER
225 Heinrich HAUSSLER
226 Sébastien HINAULT
227 Gustav LARSSON
228 Johann TSCHOPP

Paris Nice teams

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{ 30 comments }

jcoxbar February 26, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Excellent work mr inrng! cant wait

cwardy February 26, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Thanks – Look forward to seeing the South of France later in the week!

RacingRicky February 26, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Would this be the ‘King Edward’ who’s riding for Cannondale? ;)

The Inner Ring February 26, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Probably… not. The real Ted King has a royal website, see the “Shift Gears” section on the side of the page here to take a look.

JohnS February 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I saw ‘King Edward’ and wondered if he was related to ‘Roy Jérémy’

Gus February 26, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Nice one. Who will win? Tempted by Tejay but it looks open.

Sam February 26, 2013 at 7:52 pm

I’d love to see Richie Porte win this. INRNG, strange thing: for the Sky line up, Boswell was supposed to be riding, but when Sky posted the squad on their website yday EBH was there instead of Boswell. Am assuming a last minute switch, presumably thanks to EBH needing more race days ahead of MSR…

Sam February 26, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Forget that – Sky have changed the line up on their website this afternoon and Boswell’s now named instead of EBH

The Inner Ring February 27, 2013 at 12:02 am

Yes, Sky aren’t using race days for training this year, preferring to use the training camp in Tenerife.

Sam February 27, 2013 at 10:54 am

I think you mean their Classics squad are not racing P-N or T-A, and emulating the Tour squad’s training approach last year to more camps, rather than that Sky have elected to give up the racing lark altogether

Mike de Garry February 26, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Excellent detailed preview.

Bundle February 26, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Very poor parcours (the stage to Nice could be drawn to be a hundred times more exciting and GC-dnagerous), and not a rich list of participants. Despite the lack of severe mountain, Quintana is my favourite.

The Inner Ring February 27, 2013 at 12:03 am

I think there’s a need for variety and to accommodate the traffic. They can’t use the same roads as last year when de Gendt won and Leipheimer crashed under pressure from Movistar.

Bundle February 28, 2013 at 8:44 am

Surely you can have a myriad of possible mountain stages between Manosque and Nice, using many different mountain passes, for the fan who also likes mountain stages that don’t finish uphill and allow for strategic racing. True, there must be more than a bit of snow on the tops these days, but also on the Montagne de Lure. I think P-N works best when there are that kind of stages, also on the Massif Central. 2009 had a great course. On the hand, you’re right, P-N was more often than not just sprints and TTs. But so was Tirreno-Adriatico, and it seems they’ve been right to change to a more demanding concept.

Anonymous February 27, 2013 at 4:26 am

“Note the race has three categories of climb” – isn’t that a cat. 4 on stage 1?

The Inner Ring February 27, 2013 at 8:47 am

Well spotted. Reading the rulebook only three categories are listed but the graphics do show a 4th category climb.

divporter February 27, 2013 at 6:05 am

You seem to have left Katusha out of the the jersey’s section.

But otherwise great write-up.

The Inner Ring February 27, 2013 at 8:44 am

ASO left them out of the diagram, presumably produced before the CAS ruling… but they’re on the list below.

Just for everyone else, it’s stated above but note the start list is still provisional and the correct version will go on here as soon as it’s out.

Tommy B February 27, 2013 at 8:19 am

Excellent preview, many thanks for posting it.

I’m sure the new motorbikes’ll be great…but I for one will miss the old blackboard – based approach. Something pleasingly analogue about doing it that way in a digital age.

Anonymous February 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Here’s what they used on the Tour de l’Avenir last year. I chatted with them while they waited for the peloton to arrive – it was early in the stage and no breakaway had formed. The man with the board said that chalk would have been useless on a day like that.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner/8223947332/

STB February 27, 2013 at 9:39 am

Excellent preview. Hard to pick a clear favorite this year so it should be an entertaining race. The parcours will suit the rider who has the best climbing legs. My pick is van Garderen who will want to show his early season form is good.

Also looking forward to seeing how Tiernan-Locke goes for Sky, plus Richie Porte gets an opportunity to ride for the overall.

Bring it on, spring is just around the corner!

Ablindeye February 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

Great preview, many thanks. Probably beyond capacity and it’s certainly greedy of me, so apologies for asking, but I take it Tirreno won’t get the same attention given your commitments and the overlap of the races? Either way looking forward to P-N and the first The Spins of the year, cheers.

jeffdreadnought February 27, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Be interesting to see how Kelderman goes. Good start for him at the TDU this year and he’ll be looking to build on last year’s consistent perfomances.

Hello Robert February 27, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Really enjoyed reading that – thanks.
Is there any reason why Saxo-Tinkoff’s line-up only contains 7 riders?
Looking forward to following Nicolas Roche’s riding if I can.

The Inner Ring February 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Teams of eight for the race and the list above is provisional, most riders named should be listed above but not all.

Anonymous February 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I believe Petrov is the 8th man.

vimes February 28, 2013 at 5:05 pm

The parcours is boring, the stage to Nice especially dull. But that’s ASO, we are used to it.

Quintana to win.

Cameron March 1, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Noticed that you said that the highlights are on ITV4 here in the UK. Was going to tell my parents about it as they enjoy cycling but don’t have Eurosport, but sadly ITV have nothing on it on their website or schedules.

The Inner Ring March 1, 2013 at 7:17 pm

They have the rights to the race and are supposed to do something… but I don’t know when each country will do it. Instead you can watch live or there will be clips on youtube each day too.

the turning tide March 3, 2013 at 9:38 pm

the usual drill for itv4 and paris-nice is an hour highlights package broadcast one saturday morning a few weeks after the race has concluded..

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