Sunday March 3rd, 2013

PrologueHouilles / Houilles

Start 13h45 (Local time)

Key moments

Stage summary03.03.2013 in 17:16Gaudin puts France back in the prologue game

Damien Gaudin put France back on the time-trial map when he became the first home rider since Laurent Brochard 13 years ago to win the Paris-Nice prologue on Saturday. The three-times French pursuit champion made the best of his track skills to upset the favorites and snatch his first pro victory in three minutes and 37  seconds on the winding 2.9-kms course in the streets of Houilles. The Europcar rider left French time-trial champion Sylvain Chavanel trailing in second place, one second...

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interview03.03.2013 in 17:27Damien Gaudin: "It's just mad"

© A.S.O.

In the pro ranks for the past six seasons, Damien Gaudin, 26, had never made it on the top of the podium. The Frenchman made it clear he had prepared especially for this prologue to emulate his Europcar team-mates, very prolific so far this year.

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Sporting stakes02.03.2013 in 18:57A prologue to set the tone

The 2.9-kms prologue in Houilles should set the tone of an unpredictable edition of Paris-Nice.

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16:46Top five results

Top five results in the 2.9-kms prologue of Paris-Nice.

1. Damien Gaudin (France, EUC) 3:37

2. Sylvain Chavanel (France, OPQ) 3:38

3. Lieuwe Westra (Netherlands, VCD) 3:38

4. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands, BLA) 3:39

5. Geoffrey Soupe (France, FDJ) 3:39

16:44Damien Gaudin wins Paris-Nice prologue

France's Damien Gaudin (EUC) won the Paris-Nice prologue in 3:37. 

16:43Third fastest for Westra

Second behind Bradley Wiggins overall last year, Lieuwe Westra (VAC) is third fastest in 3:38.

16:40Last man out

Australia's Richie Porte (SKY) the last man out, has started.

16:35Gaudin: "If I can win this, it's a dream"

New leader Damien Gaudin (EUC) told France Televisions he had carefuly prepared for this prologue with the aim to do as well as possible: "Without Cancellara or Lars Boom, I knew there was a chance. If I can win this, it's a dream".

16:28Gaudin seize the reins

French pursuit specialist Damien Gaudin (EUC) seizes the reins in 3:37.

16:27Chavanel in the lead

French time trial champion Sylvain Chavanel (OQT) ousts Kelderman from top spot in 3:38. A great start by the Frenchman.

16:253:46 for Kittel

Germany's Marcel Kittel (ARG) is among the most talked about sprinters in this edition and he clocked a very decent 3:46.

16:24Monfort: "It's going to be tricky"

Maxime Monfort (RLT) lost 40 seconds in his crash and admitted his chances in the overall classification were now in jeopardy: "My front wheel slipped. It's very frustrating as I took that corner with caution. I had top 5 ambitions but now with 40 seconds lost, it's going to be tricky," he told France Televisions.

16:14Monfort crashes

RadioShack team leader Maxime Monfort is the first to crash on the prologue course today. The Belgian is quickly back on his bike.

16:10Can Kelderman bid for white jersey?

Kelderman was the best young rider last season in the Criterium du Dauphine and the Tour of Denmark. Can he repeat the feat this week? The Dutchman, 6th in the Tour Downunder this season, faces strong opposition, notably from Tejay van Garderen.

16:07Millar finishes

Winner of the Paris-Nice prologue in 2007, David Millar clocks 3:49.

16:053:44 for Boonen

A pretty good time for the Belgian former world champion, winner of six stages on Paris-Nice.

16:02Happy birthday Lemoine

France's Cyril Lemoine (SOJ) celebrated his 30th birthday with a very good time in 3:42.

15:56Kelderman in the lead

Dutch prospect Wilco Kelderman (BLA), one of the two youngest riders in the peloton, beat Geoffrey Soupe's time by 0.06 seconds. 

15:53Gilbert: ??I was cautious?

It's a great race with a big goal for Tejay Van Garderen. It's also a must to prepare for the classics with a week of enormous workload. I was cautious in the corners like most riders. It's a very hard prologue. We can see exactly what the form is. It's a great effort.

15:483:45 for Gilbert

The Belgian is six seconds behind Geoffrey Soupe. Gilbert is on Paris-Nice to gear up for the Spring classics.

15:47Gilbert is on course

Road world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) is on the course. Even though he sports the 101 bib, his team leader on this Paris-Nice is arguably American Tejay Van Garderen. 

15:36No double for Larsson

Last year's winner Gustav Larsson of Sweden clocks a disappointing 3:48. It's the 37th current time for the former Olympic silver-medallist. 

15:32Average speed

Soupe's average speed is 47.67 kph.

15:30Third fastest for Gallopin

Tony Gallopin (RLT) clocks the third fastest time in 3:40.

15:27Soupe under 3:40

France's Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ) is now in the lead in 3:39. He is the first rider to break the 3:40 barrier. On Saturday, he told he had serious ambitions about a course that suited his qualities.

15:194th fastest for Maes

The Omega Pharma Quick Step riders keep doing well as befits the time trial world champion team -- Nicolas Maes is 4th fastest in 3:42.

15:18Good time for Kristoff

The Olympic bronze-medallist is 6th fastest in 3:43.

15:16First Paris-Nice for Velits

A pro since 2005, Peter Velits, the Slovakian time-trial champion, is taking part in his first Paris-Nice. A good start indeed!

15:01Velits average speed

The leader completed the course at 47.45 kph

14:55Peter Velits in the lead

In 3:40, Slovakia's Peter Velits (OPQ) takes over from Borut Bozic.

14:48Herrada Lopez 2nd fastest

The former junior and under-23 Spanish time trial champion clocked 3:42.

14:453:52 for Jens

The old man of the peloton at 41, Voigt clocked 3:52.

14:41Jens Voigt starts

Jens Voigt (RLT) just started. The veteran German, who took the first yellow jersey of Paris-Nice in 2005, is one of three former prologue winners in the race this year with David Millar (2007) and Gustav Larsson (2012).  

14:3350 riders have finished

50 riders have completed the course.

14:32Splendid weather in Houilles

The weather is ideal for a prologue. Cool but sunny with a little breeze, gentle enough not to have an influence on the race.

14:20Sprinters doing alright, FDJ too

Sprinters are indeed at ease on the Houilles course with two of them in the top ten right now: Jose Joaquin Rojas (MOV) and Nace Bouhanni (FDJ). The French champion, who rode on a normal road bike, showed the way to team-mate William Bonnet, who is currently second, three seconds behind Bozic.

14:11Bozic now in front

Slovenia's Borut Bozic (AST) seizes the reins in 3:40.

14:02In the press today

L'Equipe traces back the history of Paris-Nice though the eyes of Thomas Voeckler, who took part in his first Race to the Sun in 2003. “It was important for me to be in the team. At the back of your mind, you're on Paris-Nice and it's almost like you earned your place for the Tour de France.” Philippe Bouvet also details the outside goals of this Paris-Nice, like the race for the Tour wild cards: “It's a chance to see how the pair Taaramae-Coppel works out at Cofidis. And since there...

14:00Tjallingii takes over

Maarten Tjallingii (BLA) seizes the lead in 3:44.

13:55Bouhanni in top spot

French road champion Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) confirms that the course suits sprinters. He set the fastest time in 3:47.

13:53Minard improves fastest time

3:50 for France's Sebastien Minard (ALM), who improves the fastest time for 0.2 seconds.

13:50In-form Vandenbergh

Stijn Vandenbergh is in form as he finished second in the recent Omlopp Het Nieuwsblad.

13:48Fastest time for Vandenbergh

Stijn Vandenbergh (OPQ) sets the fastest time in 3:50.

13:41First time for Bandiera

Bandiera clock the first time of the prologue in 3:55.

13:36Bandiera has gone

The first man in action today, Marco Bandiera (IAM), just started.

13:30Welcome on the 71st edition of Paris-Nice

Welcome on the 71st edition of the Race to the Sun. We take off with a 2.9-kms prologue in the streets of Houilles, on the outskirts of Paris.


Jersey wearers after the stage 7

Classifications after the stage 7


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