Paris – Nice 2022 – Stage 1

It is a fairly short stage, just under 160 km. We have quite a lumpy start and quite a lumpy finish too. With merely 1700 climbing meters, it will most likely be a sprinter that takes the win.

The riders ride around the city Mantes-la-Ville.

The finale starts 31.4 km out.

This is a visual of the finale. They come from the south and go counterclockwise. Twice up the climb on the circuit which tops quite close to the finish. Kind of giving me a little Poggio-feeling with MSR around the corner.

As you can see, we have two climbs, one of them being ridden twice. The first one is the Côte Rosay-Boinvilliers. It comes right after a short downhill on narrow roads. Positioning is key here. I think we have some teams (Cofidis for Coquard, INEOS for Ethan Hayter, Bahrain for Colbrelli) just to mention a few. We have a bonus second sprint at the top of here!

The next climb is the one they are doing twice. You can’t see it below, but there is a very sharp turn a kilometer before. Here, things will get stretched out before the climb and we will again have teams trying to drop the heavy sprinters.

The turn before the climb. The peloton will have to slow down and the ones at the front can stretch it out and push it over the climb.

From the top and back home.

A descend over the top, then three turns. The last turn is 400 meters from the finish.

The xPless™ factor.

I think we have quite a lot of teams interested in dropping Bennett, Jakobsen and Groenewegen. I’m just not sure they can. These big one-two-minute efforts are something they can handle. We only have 1700 climbing meters two and it is the first stage – they will be fresh. I have my doubts regarding Bennett and Groenewegen, but Jakobsen is very strong at the moment.


The wind will be picking up throughout the day. If we have 6 m/s it is enough to do some damage to the sleeping GC riders in the back. The problem is it looks more to be a cross-headwind and not a cross-tailwind.


Jakobsen may be the fastest man. I really look forward to seeing him against Phillipsen. He got a heavy classic squad to help him. They will be vital as they can keep him at the front before the climbs. With Mørkøv by your side with a corner 400 meters from the finish, you are in good hands.

Wout van Aert might sprint tomorrow. You just never know. The team said they would have to sacrifice some things for the GC. I can’t see why he will not be sprinting tomorrow, the team is strong enough to support Roglic. Plus, if he gets bonus seconds he can act as a threat.

Phillipsen is the man I think can possibly beat Jakobsen. He is just in stellar shape. Rickaert will be important, but other than that, the team does not look very strong for a lead-out train.

Pedersen is in good form. Skipping the opening weekend was not very logical, but I’m quite sure Trek-Segafredo knows what they are doing. Kirsch and Stuyven should be able to help him, and he is climbing rather well at the moment too. I just do not think he has the top speed to win.

Coquard and Cofidis will be pacing on Côte Rosay-Boinvilliers. They have to. He does not have the speed to win, but some of the sprinters might be a little more fatigued than the small Frenchman. I do not think he has the speed to win.

Girmay is the big joker. Just how fast is he really? Ruta del Sol was a good training race, plenty of climbing meters. 7th in Drome Classic is a good result too. They will not drop him. It is his first time against this many top-top sprinters. I hope he performs well.

Colbrelli will pace on Côte Rosay-Boinvilliers too. Put the hammer down and see if they can do any damage. I doubt it will be enough for Colbrelli to win.

Hayter might contest the sprints tomorrow. He did in Tour of Britain and plenty of other races last year. I doubt he is fast enough, but he will be fresher than most.

Who will win?

It is one of those stages you just do not know. I do not think there will be echelons. I do think some sprinters could get in trouble on the climbs too.

I will take a win for Wout van Aert.

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