A good day for a breakaway which makes it harder to pick a winner today.
A stage for the sprinters, the last chance for them before three days in the hills and mountains.
Time to shape the overall classification with a time trial stage.
A sprint finish awaits but more of the same, an uphill finish like yesterday to make things harder for the sprinters.
A circuit race west of Paris to get the race underway and an uphill finish to make things tough for the dragstrip sprinters.
Mathieu van der Poel attacks on the final section of sterrato in Le Tolfe on the outskirts of Siena. Even Julian Alaphilippe had trouble following. This was the winning moment, the Dutchman showing he was the strongest and even if Alaphilippe and Egan Bernal would join him moments later it was only temporary they’d again be out of the picture once again when he rode into the arena-like Piazza del Campo.
Paris-Nice starts on Sunday. Last year’s winner Max Schachmann is back but he’s got Primož Roglič and an Ineos trident and others to contend with. Here’s a look at the overall contenders for the race.
Canyon have emailed owners of their new Aeroad to stop riding it and instructed their pro teams to switch to older models or move to the Ultimate frame, all following the break in Mathieu van der Poel’s handlebars in Le Samyn. Cautious? Certainly given the same bars held up for his Alpecin-Fenix team mates and Tim Merlier won the race. But while there are lots of theories doing the rounds – mechanics over-tightening bolts, crash damage from Kuurne – nobody knows what happened and the company wants to find out what it is. Van der Poel can rewrite the sports codes sometimes but his sponsors can’t take the same risks.
It’s the openingsweekend. The Belgian racing season begins and with a difference: everyone is supposed to watch from indoors. One of the best features of the spring classics in Belgium is how the public turn out, these are more than bike races to the locals so it’ll be an odd day without people, frieten and beer although last year showed us it could be done. It should still be a great race and here’s the usual preview with the route, contenders, TV times and more.