Paris-Nice Stage 5 Preview

A time trial to shape the overall and see riders like Michał Kwiatkowski, Bob Jungels and Wilco Kelderman put time into Romain Bardet, Nairo Quintana and George Bennett.

Magnus opus: a break of 13 riders formed and the hilly finale thinned this down to four riders with breakaway nobility Alessando De Marchi and Thomas de Gendt, plus Giulio Ciccone and Magnus Cort Nielsen. The latter is known as sprinter although he’s more complete. Still, the question was how the other three could get rid of him. They didn’t find the answer and with 700m MCN flipped the question round, got rid of them, and won solo.

The Route: a 25.5km time trial and it’s flat for 13km – the course runs alongside a canal – and then comes a right-hand bend and a climb to the Frigolet abbey, it’s 2km at 3-4% most of the way. The map doesn’t show it but there are two hairpins just before the top of the climb where the road is steeper. Then the road drops back down towards the Rhone river and picks up a big road for the finish into Barbentane before a steep kick up to the line. In summary it’s a course for fast, powerful riders, even the climb can be ridden in a tuck for the most part and if it’s not tricky, there are technical choices to get shelter from the wind.

The Contenders: race leader Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) is in form and the course suits him, this is his stage to intimidate the climbs who are still within touching distance of him on the GC.

Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-Quickstep) has a course to suit and with the Col de Turini approaching this is his chance to stake a claim on the GC and if not go home with a stage win. L-L Sanchez (Astana) could be close but it’s probably not twisty and technical enough for him but he should be close.

Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) can win today, he’s not a superstar but is a TT specialist. Ilnur Zakarin hasn’t put a foot wrong so far but he hasn’t won a TT in his career either, still this is a big test for him.

Away from the GC contenders and Hugo Houle is Canadian but lives near and the Astana rider is a useful TT rider but it’s hard to see him taking a win in the World Tour while team mate on Ion Izagirre could salvage something after the crosswinds. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) won the TT in Valenciana over a month ago but he’s so enigmatic that that might be it for the season. Tejay van  Garderen (EF Education First) could pop up too.

Michał Kwiatkowski
Ion Izagirre, Bob Jungels, Wilco Kelderman
Sanchez, van Garderen, Houle

Weather: sunshine and a few clouds, and 16°C but the bad weather hasn’t quite gone, the northwesterly wind could get up this afternoon.

TV: The last rider Kwiatkowski comes in at 4.30pm Euro time. It should be available on the same channel you watch the Tour de France and/or Eurosport. If not then cyclingfans and have schedules and streams.

17 thoughts on “Paris-Nice Stage 5 Preview”

  1. Would it be fair to summarise this race as being Bernal / Quintana v Kwiatkowski / Jungels / LL Sanchez?
    Which of the two Colombians has the stronger TT and how much time will they cede to the other three?
    My guess – Quintana and 40”?
    Which would leave him about a minute down on GC, seems a huge ask for the Queen Stage?

    ps Does Vichy have a Traiteur?

    • I think it’s Bernal, 1st and 3rd in His National TT, over 3 minutes up on Quintana in the ITT at last year’s Tour and won a (climbing) TT at Romandie, beating Roglic, Porte and Dennis.

      He lost a minute to Kwaitko in 31km in that TDF time trial so 50seconds would be my best guess.

    • The only TTs won by Zakarin have been two national Russian championships. I know that some Italian news outlets, who aren’t racists, oh dear me no, like to call Froome the White Kenyan. But White Russian? Never.

  2. I’ve been thinking all week Zakarin could be sitting pretty for the overall after this TT with some good climbing still to come. Will be tough to shake Kwiatkowski and also Bernal before the end in Nice though

  3. The Sky trio’s performance this week has made for great viewing. Can’t wait to see what changes (or not) in the GC after today’s ITT!

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