Who Will Win Paris-Nice?

Tirreno-Adriatico’s got the star factor with the “fantastic four” of Alberto Contador, Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana leading the charge in Italy. The focus on four is obvious but the field is deeper with Joaquim Rodriguez, Rigoberto Uran and Thibaut Pinot who have all have stood on the podium of a grand tour.

All this makes Paris-Nice look secondary, two races equal in UCI label alone. Yet everyone wins as we get to see a rare clash in Italy before riders reconvene for the Tour de France while Paris-Nice offers a sweep of riders the chance to finally win the major stage race they need. If Froome or Contador rode to Nice the result could be just another line on an already long palmarès but for the likes of Tejay van Garderen, Andrew Talansky and Wilco Kelderman the yellow jersey in Nice is an important conquest.

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The Moment The Race Was Won: The Dauphiné

Andrew Talansky leads the breakaway on Stage 8 of the Dauphiné. He’d gone clear in a maxi-breakaway early in the stage and became the virtual race leader on the road. By now Alberto Contador was chasing and eating into the lead but Talansky was driving the pace almost as if in a solo breakaway. This was the moment the race was won.

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Déjà Vu in Romandie

Simon Špilak outsprints Chris Froome to win the Queen Stage of the Tour de Romandie last Friday. The exact same thing happened this time last year in Les Diablerets, just 20km away. With this Froome distanced his rivals and used the final time trial to seal the race overall.

But not everything is the same. Froome’s had different challenges. Here’s a look back at the race with a look ahead to the Giro and beyond.

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The Moment The Race Was Won: Paris-Nice

Richie Porte Nairo Quintana Andrew Talansky Montagne de Lure Paris Nice

Stage 5 and the lead group is on the Montagne de Lure and just two kilometres from the finish. Andrew Talansky’s already put in two bold attacks. It’s audacious racing and useful too because the accelerations have dropped several riders, you can see a second group in the background of the picture. But it’s also fatal for Talansky’s overall lead because Richie Porte is taking a good look his power meter, at Talansky and the road ahead and will soon attack to finish 32 seconds clear and take the 10 second time bonus. Porte then followed this up with a powerful stage win on the Col d’Eze, extending his overall lead and leaving nobody in doubt as to who was the strongest rider of the week.

Here’s a look back at the race, including the arithmetic to show Talansky’s attacking didn’t lose the race, plus some lessons for the rest of the year, from the classics to the Tour de France.

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