Paris-Nice stage three delayed, start moved
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Paris-Nice stage three delayed, start moved

by Conal Andrews at 6:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice

Due to freezing temperatures and fresh snow-showers, the start of today’s third stage of Paris-Nice has been delayed and moved to the town of St. Yrieix-la-Perche. The lumpy stage, which was to feature three third-category climbs early on, was due to start at 11am at Saint-Junien, but the weather conditions have made this impossible.

The riders signed on as usual in the town, but then were transported in their team cars to the new start venue. They are currently making final preparations before the flag drops.

As a result of the change, the race will lose the first two of those three climbs, the Côte des Cars and the Côte de la Croix de Teulet. However the Côte de la Grande Renaudie will remain on the course, as will a trio of later second-category ascents, namely the Côte de Sainte Fortunade, the Côte de Sexcles and the 7.2%, 1.1 kilometre Côte de la Martinie.

This tops out just three kilometres from the line and is likely to have a big effect on the stage result.

Paris-Nice is known as the Race to the Sun and often sees inhospitable temperatures in the early stages before the riders get closer to the warmer South.

Dutchman Lars Boom (Rabobank) continues to lead overall, holding a five second lead over closest challenger Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank). Last year’s champion Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d’Epargne) is third overall, just ten seconds back, and is poised to strike in the days ahead.

Today’s stage is likely to see slight gaps open up between the riders in the peloton. Tomorrow’s leg to Mende finishes with a very steep climb and is guaranteed to upend the general classification.


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