Paris-Nice 2019 tackles the Turini pass
January 9 th 2019 - 12:15
Paris-Nice will tackle a terrain more familiar to Monte Carlo rally drivers than to climbers when the race goes up to the Turini pass on the penultimate day of the 77th edition. While it is a first for the Race to the Sun, it is not for the peloton, since the Tour de France took riders up the 1,607 metres of the climb three times in 1948, 1950 and 1973. The names of the men coming first at the top (Louison Bobet, Jean Robic, Vicente Lopez Carril) speak for the calibre of the riders who should shine in this stage finishing with a 15 km ascent at 7.3 pc. The Pelasque climb, training ground for the many pro cyclists who live in the area, could be a launch-pad for the main contenders in that last stage before the finale around Nice.
The other key moment of this year’s race could be the 25.5-km individual time trial held on day 5 around Barbentane, in the heart of the lovely massif of La Montagnette. In spite of a climb leading to the picturesque St Michel de Frigolet abbey at mid-course, it’s a stage for specialists, which should sort the men from the boys two days before the Turini.
The rest of the course designed by Francois Lemarchand and who will start from the department of Yvelines for the 10th consecutive year is a clear return to classicism in which every type of rider should find suitable ground for success. Three or even four stages look set for bunch sprints. Australian Caleb Ewan is among the sprinters already announced, as well as Arnaud Démare, Dylan Groenewegen, Alexander Kristoff and Mark Cavendish, who will remember once in Brignoles his stage victory of the Tour de France 2009. Aggressive riders could find an even more suitable terrain in stage 4, going from the waters of Vichy to the vineyards of Condrieu and the bumpy roads leading to Pelussin. The small town is famous in French cycling circles since the local club dominated amateur competitions in the country in the 1980s, even taking a small pro team to Paris-Nice in 1983.
The day after the Turini stage, the finale is identical to the stage that allowed Spain’s Marc Soler to clinch victory a year ago at Promenade des Anglais. Movistar look intent on retaining their crown with a strong team including Soler and Nairo Quintana. The competition should be fierce with the return of last year’s runner-up Simon Yates, since crowned in the Vuelta, and the participation –– already confirmed –– of Romain Bardet, Tony Gallopin, Miguel Angel Lopez and Tim Wellens.
Paris-Nice 2019 stages
Sunday, March 10th, stage 1: Saint-Germain-en-Laye > Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 138,5 km
Monday, March 11th, stage 2: Les Bréviaires > Bellegarde, 163,5 km
Tuesday, March 12th, stage 3: Cepoy > Moulins/Yzeure, 200 km
Wednesday, March 13th, stage 4: Vichy > Pélussin, 210,5 km
Thursday, March 14th, stage 5: Barbentane > Barbentane, 25,5 km (Time trial)
Friday, March 15th, stage 6: Peynier > Brignoles, 176,5 km
Saturday, March 16th, stage 7: Nice > Col de Turini La Bollène-Vésubie, 181,5 km
Sunday, March 17th, stage 8: Nice > Nice, 110 km
The 23 selected teams
In accordance with Union Cycliste Internationale rules, the following eighteen UCI WorldTeams are automatically invited to the race:
AG2R LA MONDIALE
ASTANA PRO TEAM
BAHRAIN – MERIDA
BORA – HANSGROHE
DECEUNINCK – QUICK-STEP
EF EDUCATION FIRST
GROUPAMA – FDJ
MITCHELTON – SCOTT
TEAM DIMENSION DATA
TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN
UAE TEAM EMIRATES
In addition to these eighteen teams, the organisers have awarded the following wildcards:
COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE
TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC
VITAL CONCEPT – B&B HOTELS
After three superb initial editions, Paris-Nice Challenge will be back on Saturday 16th March, the day before the professionals reach the race’s finish. This cyclo-sportive that winds through the countryside around Nice is the first major event of the season. It offers amateur cyclists the opportunity of riding along the same route as the last stage of Paris-Nice, just 24 hours before the professional pack.