Second race on the 2022 UCI World Tour calendar after the UAE Tour, and first on French soil, Paris-Nice, starts on Sunday 6 March from Mantes-la-Ville. Surprising double title holder Maximilian Schachmann will face a very tough field for the 80th anniversary of the Race to the Sun, which returns to the Promenade des Anglais.
The year of Primoz Roglic?
Last year we already saw him in Levens, during the final stage, win his first Paris-Nice with style, having won three stages in the 2021 edition. But the fate of the last stage wanted it different. With just three steps of the second category, the yellow jersey seemed destined to remain on the shoulders of roglicbut this day of less than 100 kilometers proved to be an ordeal for the Slovenian, who fell twice and had to change bikes after a mechanical problem.
After the Tour de France that had eluded him during a time trial on the penultimate stage of 2020, the Slovenian’s curse in France continues and there is no doubt that he wants to end it at this Paris-Nice. Particularly surrounded by Rohan Dennis, Steven Kruijswijk, Mike Teunissen and Wout Van Aert, Primoz Roglic is again the favorite of this competition.
Schachmann, Quintana, Martin and Gaudu among the favorites
But the competition will be tough. The outgoing double winner Maximilian Schachmann would see himself making the pass of three, now joined by Aleksandr Vlasov, his runner-up last year in the general classification. Nairo Quintana has already won two stage races in the Alps this season with the Tour de la Provence and the Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var. The Colombian, second in 2019, has never won Paris-Nice.
Guillaume Martin, joined by Ion Izagirre, third last year, will be one of the best French chances to do well in the general classification. David Gaudu will also be able to count on a solid Groupama-FDJ team that includes Stefan Küng and Valentin Madouas. The Ineos-Grenadiers will bet them on the young Ethan Hayter and Adam Yates.
The sprinter’s field is very close for the three flat stages they are promised. Jasper Philipsen, winner of two stages on the UAE Tour in February, is the sprinter in shape at the start of the season thanks to a highly efficient train from his Alpecin-Fenix squad. He will compete against Sam Bennett, who has already won five stages in Paris-Nice, two of which were last year.
Dylan Groenewegen, a three-time winner of BikeExchange in the Race to the Sun, is also one of those sprinters who has already rolled up his sleeves in this competition. Just like the Dutchman Cees Bol, last year’s winner at Amilly. For his part, Mads Pedersen, twice on the podium in 2021, could write his name on the long list of winners of a stage in this prestigious race.
A demanding course
“A menu as varied as it is balanced”† This is how the organization describes the route of this 80th edition on its website. Three flat stages start from Yvelines, which should lead to massive sprints. Boundaries can also spice up these steps. A time trial of just over thirteen kilometers should make it possible to create the first real holes. Filippo Ganna, Stefan Küng and Stefan Bissegger, specialists in this format should be wary Primoz Roglic who was able to take advantage of the very steep final.
Then come the mountain stages that will determine the winner of this Paris-Nice 2022. Thursday’s stage between Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert and Saint-Sauveur-de-Montagut is the most complicated on paper with 3350m difference in altitude and three first category passes. But the finish at the Col de Turini (14.9 kilometers at 7.3%), Saturday, after seven days of racing, will not be a gift. Before finishing with a loop around Nice that will take a new side of the Col d’Eze, and will end with the traditional finish on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice.
An event broadcast on France Télévisions
Every day you will find the runners on France 3 with Alexandre Pasteur, Marion Rousse, Laurent Jalabert and Thomas Voeckler commenting. Airtime at 3:15 PM for the first and last stage, at 2:40 PM on weekdays and at 1:30 PM on Saturday, March 12 for the penultimate stage. An event to follow live or in replay on the france.tv platform.