Paris-Nice 2010 route announced: 'suits Alberto Contador' says Gallopin
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Paris-Nice 2010 route announced: 'suits Alberto Contador' says Gallopin

by Ben Atkins at 12:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

The Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) has announced the route of this year’s Paris-Nice race, set to run between March 7th and 14th. The course – made up of a prologue and seven stages – will cover 1285.5km between Montfort-l’Amaury just to the west of Paris and the Mediterranean resort city of Nice.

Tour de France race director (ASO owns both races) Christian Pudhomme claims that “the 68th edition of Paris-Nice is set to be a race of innovation”. The prologue and stage 1 start in Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines mark the start of a four-year deal with the Conseil Général (General Council) of the Yvelines department.

From there the route heads south on the western side of the Massif Central before heading east with a stage finish in Aurillac and a summit finish in Mende. The Mende stage finish, at the summit of La Croix-Neuve/Montée Laurent Jalabert, pays tribute to the French legend, and was where Alberto Contador took a stage win on the way to his overall victory two years ago.

The final stage will be what has become the usual hilly circuit, starting and finishing in Nice. In 119 short kilometres the peloton will have to tackle the Col de la Porte, La Turbie and the Col d’Éze. This stage, and the hilly nature of some stages, make current Tour de France champion Alberto Contador the outstanding favourite for victory.

"With a time trial [on the first day] and a summit finish it’s a beautiful course for him," said Contador’s former sports director Alain Gallopin to Gallopin, who moved over the Lance Armstrong's RadioShack team, plans to put a number of riders up against the Spaniard (like Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner, Janez Brajkovic and Yaroslav Popovych) who are "capable of finishing in the top ten" and look for “the moment of weakness or mistake" committed by the man that he sees as favourite.

2010 Paris-Nice Stages:
Prologue: 8km Montfort-l’Amaury – Montfort-l’Amaury
1st stage: 203,5km Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines – Contres
2nd stage: 201,5km Contres – Limoges
3rd stage: 208km Saint-Junien – Aurillac
4th stage: 172km Maurs – Mende
5th stage: 153,5km Pernes-les-Fontaines – Aix-en-Provence
6th stage: 220km Peynier – Tourrettes-sur-Loup
7th stage: 119km Nice – Nice


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