Merlier first leader on his first Paris-Nice stage
Two in the break
The real start was given to 154 riders at 13:01 under grey skies. France’s Paul Ourselin (TotalEnergies) and Denmark’s Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X) broke clear after 16 km and received the go-ahead from the peloton. Their lead topped at 3:45 at kilometre 35 and the bunch, led by Lotto Dstny and Alpecin Deceuninck riders, maintained a safe three-minute...
Anything is possible... even a bunch sprint
Paris-Nice race director François Lemarchand has been trying for a number of years to make the first stage as unpredictable as possible. Climbs, corners, crosswinds, intermediate sprints placed at awkward moments in the stage – everything seems to have been designed to avoid the obvious bunch sprint. Today’s 169.5-km stage around La Verrière is no exception.
Neilson Powless: “My main goal is to win something”
The goal was the stage win. We had a plan to just give it everything from the bottom to the top of that final steep climb and we were hoping to create more of a selection. I just went for it. We had some staff at the the bottom of the climb and he screamed to me to just go. I gave it everything.
It was nice to pull a jersey for an aggressive effort like this. It was just...
Tim Merlier : “It’s a great pride to be part of that train”
The team was very strong and I was perfectly led out. There was a tough climb in the finale. We managed to come back just before the last climb and then I was dropped. But we were quite a few riders chasing at the front and we worked together until the finish.
It’s really a great honour and lots of pride to be in that (Soudal Quick Step) train. For me, it’s...
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