I’ve just heard French journalist Jean-Paul Brouchon announce that the wind is “terrible, blowing at 80km/h” near the finish of Stage 2 in Paris-Nice. Conventional weather reports suggests it’s much calmer but that a 20km/h breeze is possible.
Note the map of the stage, in particular the section at the end. The race heads in a south-easterly direction for most of the day before turning back on itself in the last 30km. It’s a flat and exposed region where huge farms grow cereal to make all those baguettes, meaning shelter is often rare. This means the change of direction will see the wind move during the most important part of the race.
Last year exactly the same scenario happened on the first road stage from Yveslines to Contres, when Rabobank blew the race apart.
We’ll see what happens, it is up to the riders to make the race. But all in the ingredients are in place for the race to be blown apart by teams willing and able to exploit the conditions. So long as Brouchon’s got the weather right.
- Video streams will be available and several recognised broadcasters are carrying the race too.