Ready for a nail-biting finale?
March 13 th 2023 - 05:11
Victory in Paris-Nice has often been a matter of seconds going one way or the other in the final showdown on the hills overlooking Nice. In the past ten years, the GC has either been reshuffled or decided by less than four seconds in five occasions, and this edition might not be different.
Even though he has looked the stronger rider in the bunch by far, winning the two mountain stages held at La Loge des Gardes and at Col de la Couillole, Tadej Pogacar will only bring a 12-seconds lead over David Gaudu into the final stage around Nice. While reigning Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard does not yet seem in the exceptional shape that allowed him to win the biggest race in the world last July, Gaudu seems to have matured and improved in the mid-season and his solid Groupama-FDJ team look set to try and upset the current yellow and white jersey holder.
Yet Tadej Pogacar has reasons to be confident. He has definitely appeared above the lot all week – an impression also left by his compatriot Primoz Roglic when he was toppled on the last day in 2020 – and he also knows the day’s climbs like the palm of his hand. The two-times Tour de France winner lives in Monaco and he said earlier this week that the stage 8 course was almost “his training loop”. He can also count on the support of experienced team-mates like Tim Wellens, Matteo Trentin or Felix Grosschartner to keep him out of trouble on the classic Cote de Peille or Col d’Eze climb and descents.