Paris-Nice route confirmed with Col d’Èze time trial finale
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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Paris-Nice route confirmed with Col d’Èze time trial finale

by Ben Atkins at 9:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice
Ten of the Tour’s top fifteen riders expected at the Race to the Sun

tony martinRace organiser ASO has confirmed the route of this year’s Paris-Nice, which was inadvertently leaked into the French media last week. As was leaked, the 70th edition of the Race to the Sun will begin with a flat 9.4km time trial between Dampierre-en-Yvelines and Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse, to the west of Paris, and finish with an uphill 9.6km one to the Col d’Èze.

Perhaps as a response to yesterday’s presentation of the simultaneously run Tirreno-Adriatico, which boasts Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) and Giro d’Italia winner Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) among those expected to ride, ASO announces that ten of the Tour’s top fifteen riders will be present on the Dampierre-en-Yvelines start line.

paris-niceIn addition to Andy and Fränk Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek), who finished second and third to Evans last July, ASO is expecting the usual appearance in the race from best Frenchman Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), as well his teammate, white jersey winner and victor on Alpe d’Huez, Pierre Rolland. The Italian challenge in the French race will be led by Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale), whose teammates Michele Scarponi and Vincenzo Nibali will be riding south of the Alps.

In addition to the general classification stars of the Tour, its time trial king Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) – the new World champion against the clock – will be there to defend his Paris-Nice crown of 2011.

The Lac de Vassivière finish to stage three is a deliberate nod to past Tour de France time trials around the large man-made lake, but stage 5 to Mende – which will finish atop La Croix Neuve “Montée Laurent Jalabert” – is where the general classification will surely take its first hit. The following days into Sisteron and Nice look suited to sprinters, although the terrain will undoubtedly offer something to adventurous breakaway riders, but all eyes will be on the final day’s climb to the 501 metre summit of the Col d’Èze.

The Col d’Èze time trial finale was a fixture of the race between 1969 and 1995, where great champions such as Eddy Merckx, Raymond Poulidor, Joop Zoetemelk, Stephen Roche, and seven-time winner Sean Kelly have all made their mark.

March 4th: Stage 1 – Dampierre-en-Yvelines to Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse TT, 9.4km
March 5th: Stage 2 – Mantes-la-Jolie to Orléans, 185km
March 6th: Stage 3 – Vierzon to Lac de Vassivière, 194km
March 7th: Stage 4 – Brive-la-Gaillarde to Rodez, 183km
March 8th: Stage 5 – Onet-le-Chateau to Mende, 178km
March 9th: Stage 6 – Suze-la-Rousse to Sisteron, 176.5km
March 10th: Stage 7 – Sisteron to Nice, 220 km
March 11th: Stage 8 – Nice to Col d'Èze TT, 9.6 km

Invited teams, with leading riders:

AG2R La Mondiale: Péraud (Fra), Roche (Irl)
Astana Pro Team: Brajkovic (Slo), Seeldrayers (Bel)
BMC Racing Team: Van Garderen, Phinney (USA), Hushovd (Nor)
Euskaltel-Euskadi: Anton (Spa), Sicard (Fra)
FDJ-BigMat: Fédrigo, Jeannesson (Fra)
Garmin-Barracuda: Millar (GB), Haussler (Aus), Le Mevel (Fra)
GreenEdge Cycling Team: Gerrans (Aus)
Katusha Team: Galimzyanov, Menchov (Rus)
Lampre - ISD: Bole (Slo), Cunego (Ita)
Liquigas-Cannondale: Basso (Ita), Szmyd (Pol)
Lotto Belisol Team: Bak (Den), Henderson (NZ)
Movistar Team: Arroyo, Rojas (Spa)
Omega Pharma-Quick Step: Boonen (Bel), Chavanel (Fra), Leipheimer (USA), Martin (Ger)
Rabobank Cycling Team: LL. Sanchez (Spa), Renshaw (Aus)
RadioShack-Nissan: A.Schleck, F.Schleck (Lux), Klöden (Ger)
Sky Pro Cycling: Froome, Thomas (GB)
Team Saxo Bank: Kroon (Hol), Nuyens (Bel)
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team: De Gendt (Hol), R.Feillu (Fra)

Professional Continental Teams:
Cofidis, le Crédit en Ligne: Taaramae (Est), Di Grégorio (Fra), Moncoutié (Fra)
Project 1t4i: Degenkolb, Kittel (Ger)
Saur-Sojasun: Coppel, Hivert, B.Feillu (Fra)
Team Europcar: Rolland, Voeckler (Fra)


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