A scent of mimosa

January 9 th 2019 - 12:00

One of the first visible signs that spring is here are the mimosa plants blooming along the roads of the French Riviera, which also set the tone for the sporting season. The Yellow Jersey and the fight to conquer it in July will be brought into even sharper focus this year, which marks the centennial of the first time the Maillot Jaune was used in the Tour de France. In cycling as in life, every 24 hours can make you a fool. Pundits and fans await, watch, scrutinise and analyse the start of the European season for the pretenders to the crown in July. Paris-Nice will provide an accurate snapshot of each rider's current form, the spirit with which attackers take the fight to their rivals, and the consistency of the various teams. The course of the 77th edition has something for each type of cyclist, but only a true all-rounder will be able to claim victory on the Mediterranean coast on 17 March. Serious contenders will need to marshal a solid team to survive the crosswinds on the plains of Loiret, put out big watts in the Barbentane time trial, climb and strike hard on the legendary roads of the Monte Carlo Rally leading to the Col de Turini, and display their tactical nous in the up-and-down closing stage in the Nice hinterland. Mimosa plants can bring a whiff of what is to come!

Christian Prudhomme

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