Put the stopwatches away!


For the last two seasons, Paris-Nice had once again become a blissful experience for solitary flat racers, beginning with a prologue and ending on a high note with a time trial on the Col d'Éze. Well this year, with all due respect to Bradley Wiggins and Ritchie Porte, the two most recent winners of the race, stopwatches will not be required until the finishes of the eight road race stages which are featured on the agenda of this 2014 edition.

Yes, you have read correctly, eight road race stages, which we are sure will open up the race and boost the riders' aspirations. So there will be no holding back all the way to the scenic final where the Col d'Èze will represent one of the ultimate difficulties of the Race to the Sun which promises to be as exciting as it is eventful. The race will set off from Yvelines, as it has done since 2010, with a wonderful circuit around Mantes-la-Jolie to whet the riders' appetite, before a start in Rambouillet which will finish in Yonne and two days especially for sprinters, even if the wind may slow them down and create a few time gaps. The peloton's sprinters will have a field day with a finish on the Nevers Magny-Cours motor racing circuit. Beaujolais has often played host to the first major stage race of the season and this edition promises to be more challenging with the tough ascent of Mont Brouilly which should encourage the most audacious riders to adjust their pace. After an arduous detour via the Monts du Forez, the race will return to the familiar landscapes of Haut-Var and the hinterland of Nice. The finish in Fayence will be judged at the summit of a particularly steep slope. The stage from Mougins to Biot Sophia Antipolis will bring to mind that of 2011 before the Nice-Nice final stage, which will be short, hilly and intense. For the moment it's hard to single out a favourite and so much the better!

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Jersey wearers after the stage 8

Classifications after the stage 8


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