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Paris-Nice Stage 7 Preview

The Paris-Nice summit finish, a big day for the GC as Primož Roglič takes on all the challengers. If you want to watch, don’t miss the early finish.

Burgaudeau’s big catch: the day’s breakaway was closed down but Valentin Madouas made it two days in a row away to take more mountains points, not what Groupama-FDJ came for but a consolation. Søren Kragh Andersen – seventh on GC – tried a bold move down the Col d’Espigoulier and got a gap and had the peloton in pieces but Trek-Segafredo had riders to chase. However in a hectic finale a series of attacks were flying and on the last small climb of the day Mathieu Burgaudeau attacked. Ealier in the week he was the fastest up the final climb in the Montluçon time trial, just quicker than Roglič and even if he’d cruised the rest of the course, it said something. This time he was all in and Burgaudeau always had a slender lead of a few seconds and it was touch and go if he’d make it but just held on to take the win from Mads Pedersen who led the sprint home ahead of the other candidates.

The Total Energies rider is a pure product of his team, the son of a fisherman from Noirmoutier island off the coast of the Vendée region, he joined the feeder team, turned pro with them and now netted his first pro win and his team’s first World Tour win since 2020 and Niccolo Bonifazio’s stage win.

The Route: 155km and 3,500 of vertical gain, almost a copycat of 2019’s Stage 7 in Paris-Nice too although that year there was a loop before the final climb to add a few more kilometres and vertical gain and Dani Martinez won that day. It’s even more familiar to many riders based in Monaco and the surrounding towns as a training climb.

The Finish: a turning off the main road and a gentle start until the first hairpin and then some 8% slopes, the intermediate sprint in the village and then a long climb. The defining characteristic today is the length, there are sections at 8-10% but overall this is a long climb that is engineered and steady, riders will tend to crack and get dropped than attack.

The Contenders: Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) is the obvious pick and he needs to win today, the ten second time bonus at the finish line would allow him to go into tomorrow’s stage with an extra cushion in case of ambush. Normally he’d have a whole team to set the pace for him but Steven Kruijswijk’s sore after a crash earlier on which means a lot on Rohan Dennis.

Otherwise who to choose between Adam Yates and Dani Martinez (Ineos), Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Simon Yates (Bike Exchange)? It could be one launches only to get countered by another who goes away for the win. Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) finds a climb he’d like but has looked so sparkling in recent days, Pierre Latour (Total Energies) could attack but making it stick is his challenge, ditto Jack Haig (Bahrain) and Guillaume Martin (Cofidis).

A chance for the breakaway? Normally not, the big summit finish stage tends to go to the GC contenders. You might remember Roglič mowing down Gino Mäder in 2021 and that day had more kilometres. There’s still a chance though because Jumbo-Visma need to save riders for the final climb and the other teams might not want to pull too hard either. Brandon McNulty (UAE) can go again. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) ought to be made for today but has been struggling, Wout Poels could be retained to help Haig’s GC position for Bahrain. Other longshots could be Mauri Vensevanant (Quick-Step) or Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar).

Primož Roglič, Simon Yates
Dani Martinez, Adam Yates
Vlasov, Quintana, Martin, McNulty, Jorgenson

Weather: cloudy and cool, 12°C in the valleys and windy at times on the coast but calmer in land, plus a lot of the course is sheltered. The forecast for snow on the Turini made earlier this week’s gone now

TV: the finish is forecast for 2.55pm Euro time. It’s on France TV and Eurosport/GCN.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • 150 Watts Saturday, 12 March 2022, 6:32 am

    Dennis has never really been the one to front up day after day. It will be interesting to see if he can do the job again for Roglic.

    • Anonymous Saturday, 12 March 2022, 8:30 am

      He was pretty impressive doing it day after day when TGH won the Giro.

      • The Inner Ring Saturday, 12 March 2022, 9:21 am

        He was doing well on Thursday too, and today is the kind of long steady climb that suits. But he can’t do it all, he’s not going to be there at the top of the climb.

    • Ecky Thump Saturday, 12 March 2022, 8:31 am

      It’s not an especially long stage, I don’t see why he won’t be still there until the final climb?
      It seems apparent that Rohan Dennis is insurance for Wout van Aert, as much as Roglic.
      Otherwise it might have been down to the Belgian to go deeper than he would have liked?
      If today goes well for Jumbo-Visma, perhaps Dennis could be the rider that would allow WvA to go for the green jersey in the TdF after all, without damaging their GC hopes in the process?
      Watch this space, today will be interesting. And informative perhaps.

    • CA Saturday, 12 March 2022, 3:53 pm

      Agreed, Dennis has not liked the role of super domestique. He prefers less team duties so he can pick and choose which races he goes for. Would be ironic if he settles for a team player role after leaving Ineos in part because he didn’t want to only do team duties.

  • 150 Watts Sunday, 13 March 2022, 2:35 am

    Slovenia 2 ROW 0.